Belfast Telegraph

Mancini demands City response

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini expects his players to learn the lessons from their shock loss at Sunderland very quickly.

City squandered the chance to open up a three-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League as they conceded an injury-time goal at the Stadium of Light. The defeat compounded the frustration felt after a goalless draw at West Brom on Boxing Day and there is little time to dwell as Liverpool visit the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Mancini said: "I thought we threw three important points out of the window. It was important but now it is finished and we can do nothing. But at the same time, when we arrive back in Manchester, we need to think positively for the next game and for the future."

He added: "We play again quickly and we should have good concentration for the next game. We have 45 points and we have scored 53 goals, and I think we need another 45 points in the second half."

City were pushing for a late winner when they were caught on the counter-attack and Black Cats substitute Ji Dong-won broke through in dramatic fashion to beat Joe Hart.

The visitors had dominated possession in the second half and were unlucky in that Ji was marginally offside when he received the ball for the decisive touch.

Yet Mancini was alarmed at how vulnerable his side had seemed at the back throughout the game and wants improvement.

He said: "I don't know how many chances we had to score but we need to pay attention in situations where we concede three or four counter-attacks. A top team can't concede situations like this - maybe one, but not three or four.

"We wanted to try to score but sometimes, when you are on the pitch, you need to understand that there are some games you cannot score. You can do nothing.

"In that moment we should stay and finish - one point is better than nil."


From Belfast Telegraph