Manchester City not good enough to win Champions League admits Roberto Mancini


Roberto Mancini will not give up on Manchester City's Champions League challenge but claims they are not good enough to win the competition.

The Barclays Premier League leaders now face an uphill task to reach the knockout stage of Europe's premier club competition after a shattering defeat at Napoli on Tuesday.

Mancini's side must now beat Bayern Munich in their final Group A fixture and hope already-eliminated Villarreal can claim their first points of the competition against Napoli to progress.

Mancini said: "We hope we can beat Bayern Munich and Napoli can lose a point at Villarreal but I think we should be realistic.

"I don't think we have a team to win the Champions League because Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, (AC) Milan are maybe better and they have more experience than us in the Champions League."

City will drop into the Europa League if results go against them in the last round of group games on December 7.

Mancini is philosophical about that prospect and has dismissed suggestions the second-tier competition could be a hindrance to his side's domestic title bid.

The Italian maintains he was not disappointed with his side's performance at the Stadio San Paolo earlier this week, just the result.

He said: "I hope we can stay in the Champions League but if we go into the Europa League we will try to win it.

"It is not like the Champions League but for us it is an important trophy.

"I hope we can stay, because after the Champions League (group stage) it is strange.

"If you go into the second stage maybe you can meet APOEL Nicosia or Bayer Leverkusen and you can go through - but I don't know what can happen.

"We did everything and I think we did a good game."

City switch their attention back to domestic matters with a trip to Liverpool on Sunday.

The Blues have not won at Anfield since 2003 but will travel there this weekend with a five-point lead at the top of the table after winning 11 of their 12 games.

City also won nine games in succession in all competitions after losing at Bayern Munich two months ago and are hoping to make a similar recovery now, although Mancini is taking nothing for granted.

He said: "Liverpool will be a very hard game on Sunday. Liverpool are a strong team.

"In my opinion - they are 12 points under us but I think they have a team that can win the Premier League.

"The Barclays Premier League is difficult, it is long and hard. We have played only 12 games.

"The squads now at Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea are why they can fight for the title."

City could come up against their former striker Craig Bellamy, who left the Etihad Stadium for Liverpool in August.

The Wales forward shone for City two seasons ago but was loaned out to Cardiff last year and allowed to leave in the summer after being told he did not feature in Mancini's plans.

Mancini said: "I am happy for him.

"I watched the game against Chelsea and he played very well. If he is happy, I am happy for him."

Mancini is now in a position of strength at City owing to last season's FA Cup win, Champions League qualification and this season's brilliant Premier League form.

Yet the former Inter Milan boss has needed time to prove himself and there have been times in the near two years since his appointment that his position has been questioned.

For that reason he believes it is unfair that his Chelsea rival Andre Villas-Boas should be under pressure after a bad run of form.

Chelsea brought Villas-Boas in from Porto in the summer but have made their worst start to a season since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

Last week's loss at Liverpool left the Londoners fifth in the Premier League and Champions League progress is not guaranteed after a midweek defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.

Mancini said: "I think when you are a new coach or manager - I think he needs time.

"In two or three months it is difficult to change (things) - maybe he is a different manager from Carlo Ancelotti.

"I think every manager needs time."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot