Mancini: “It’s my fault”
Manchester City’s Italian supremo Roberto Mancini stunned on-lookers on Monday night by admitting that his side’s 3-0 loss at Liverpool was “my mistake because we did not prepare very well.”
It was a bad night for City on two counts. Their qualification for next season’s Champions League was put under renewed threat by the comprehensive Anfield defeat.
And they will be without their talismanic Argentine frontman Carlos Tevez for at least part of the run-in, including Saturday evening’s FA Cup semi-final with arch-rivals Manchester United, after pulling up with a hamstring injury early in the Liverpool game.
Mancini would not be drawn on the specific natures of his “mistakes” in preparation for Monday night’s game, in which City were three goals down inside 35 minutes.
But he said: “I made the mistake for this game, not the players, the players played 100%. I made a mistake in the last two days. I know why. It is important I understand this for the next game. It was my mistake because we did not prepare very well.”
Tevez’s loss will be keenly felt by a City side already missing England defender Micah Richards for the Wembley trip.
Immediately after the match Mancini said: “I think that it is very difficult for him to play on Saturday. We will try to recover him.” But he added: “I think that in two weeks he can return.”
Big-money strikers Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko are in line to replace Tevez, with neither player in ideal form, approaching the game.
Dzeko is still to break his EPL goalscoring duck, although City fans may be comforted by the fact that two of his four City goals since his January signing were in the FA Cup.
City remain fourth in the EPL but are now only three points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have a game in hand and are still due at City’s Eastlands home for a league encounter.
Last season, City lost 1-0 at home to Tottenham in their penultimate fixture, a result which cost them Champions League football as Spurs eventually finished fourth. Spurs visit Eastlands this season on May 10th, City’s third-last fixture.
Before Monday’s defeat, Mancini was bullish about City’s prospects, claiming his side “deserved” Champions League football.
He said: “We deserve this. We have been at the top most of the season with United and Arsenal, always between first and fourth.”
Tags: Manchester City, Roberto Mancini, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Champions League