Belfast Telegraph

Mancini frustrated after draw

Roberto Mancini accused his star-studded Manchester City attack of shirking their defensive duties as well as wastefulness in front of goal after watching them surrender their 100% start to the Barclays Premier League season.

City looked set to open the campaign with five successive top-flight wins for only the second time in their history when they cruised to a 2-0 lead at Fulham on Sunday afternoon. They could easily have been further ahead but relinquished their stranglehold enough to allow the home side to come roaring back to salvage a 2-2 draw.

The result was the first blow to City's title hopes, allowing rivals Manchester United to open up a two-point lead at the top of the table. It was also the third time in just over a week that they have not taken enough of their chances and manager Mancini said: "This could be a lesson for us."

He added: "Because when you dominate a game like we did today, and you score only two goals, it's a problem.

"For 10 or 15 minutes after Fulham scored, they played very well. But a football match is 95 minutes and a top team like us needs to have more control of the game.

"I'm not angry. I'm just disappointed because we conceded two stupid goals."

Mancini, who withdrew attacking trio David Silva, Aguero and Samir Nasri in a bid to give his side more bite, said: "For 10 minutes, we defended with five or six players. It is not good enough."

Mancini also appeared to concede his players were not currently showing the mentality of champions.

"Probably, probably," he said, before claiming they had been tired by their midweek Champions League exertions.

"If we had other players, probably we would make other changes. I don't have players at the moment. I can only change the full-backs. I have only two midfielders, because James (Milner) and (Nigel) De Jong have injuries."


From Belfast Telegraph