Roberto Mancini calls for 'perfect' showing against Real Madrid

 

They may have returned to the top of the Premier League table with a first five-goal victory of the campaign but Roberto Mancini has demanded his Manchester City side must improve if they are to beat Real Madrid.

With just two points from their four Champions League matches, Mancini concedes the only reason his team are still in with a chance of progressing to the knock-out phase is that football is "strange like goalkeepers".

But there was symbolism in Carlos Tevez celebrating City's third goal by sitting down and pretending to turn a steering wheel to make light of his car being impounded due to him not having a valid licence last week.

It suggested that nothing anyone says about three-man defences, Mario Balotelli, Monaco or mutinies seems to matter when you are thumping teams with a fluidity that harked back to the swagger of last season's title win.

By contrast, Europe has again been chastening for Mancini (above) whose side led 2-1 in their opening game in the Bernabeu with five minutes left only to lose 3-2, and they must beat Real and then win in Dortmund to stand any chance of progressing from the group for the first time.

The task was underlined further by José Mourinho's Real matching City's feat with a 5-1 win over Atletico Bilbao on Saturday night.

"They are one of the best teams in the world. To beat them we will have to give a perfect performance," Mancini said. "We will have to play even better than we did against Aston Villa, if we are to beat Real. That's what it is going to take.

"They have a big history going back. They've won a lot of Champions Leagues. We need to work a lot to be at their level but I do think we have the players who can beat them. It is possible.

"If you have players who have won World Cups, like (David) Silva – or won everything like Yaya (Touré) – then playing against Real Madrid is the essence of football.

"When you are young and start to play football you think I would love to play against Real Madrid, Barcelona. Big players like the big challenges but we will need perfect concentration for this game."

Saturday's 5-0 win was the first time City have scored more than three goals in a game this season, something they managed five times in the Premier League by this stage a year ago when they looked like an unstoppable train during the opening months of the campaign.

Mancini's strikers had managed just seven league goals between them before last weekend's 2-1 win over Tottenham but that tally now stands at 13, thanks to Sergio Aguero and Tevez scoring twice each against Villa.

After returning from a hamstring problem last weekend, Silva looked to be the creative talent the Premier League has learned to take for granted over the last two years and he prodded the hosts ahead just before the break.

When Andreas Weimann was wrongly penalised for handball, Aguero scored from the penalty spot and Tevez added another penalty before Aguero burst through and thumped a deflected shot past Brad Guzan. Tevez tapped home the fifth from Samir Nasri's cross.

After being left out of the squad for the win over Spurs, Mario Balotelli missed out once again due to a back problem sustained in training on Friday.

"Mario had a problem with his back in training and he said he couldn't play," Mancini added.

"I don't think he was here. I think he was in his bed because he had a problem. If he trains and trains well then he can be part of the squad against Madrid."

What City must do

* Win both remaining group games, against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages, along with:

* Ajax winning one or both of their remaining games OR

* Ajax not beating Dortmund this week and drawing with Real

* If Ajax beat Dortmund AND then draw at Real, all four teams will end on eight points – leaving goal difference to decide who qualifies.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own