Roberto Mancini has swipe at Joe Hart after Cristiano Ronaldo stuns Manchester City

Manager reacts to goalkeeper's comments in wake of 3-2 Champions League defeat

Madrid

Having kept his side in their first group game in the Champions League last night with what Jose Mourinho called an "incredible" performance, Manchester City's Joe Hart was beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo's last-minute winner and ticked off by his manager.

Seeing off any criticism for his part in the late goal the goalkeeper said City "won and lost as a team" but Mancini snapped: "Joe Hart should stay in goal and make saves. If anyone should criticise the team it should be me, not Joe Hart. I am the judge, not Joe Hart."

It was an overspill of frustration from Mancini who also said his team had lacked courage in letting slip what would have been a famous victory, allowing Karim Benzema to score his first goal of the season and Ronaldo his 152nd goal in 151 appearances in the last three minutes as Real won 3-2.

Exasperated by his side folding at the death Mancini said: "We go too deep sometimes and leave the opponents to play on the edge of our box. I don't want us to continue defending like this. We made mistakes for this reason. At 2-1 we only had to continue playing as we had throughout the second half.

"It's difficult to take, not because we lost – because you can lose against a team like Real Madrid – but because with two minutes to go we were 2-1 up. We wouldn't have conceded if we had not been defending so deep. We should have had more courage at the end."

Vincent Kompany had ducked as Ronaldo shot. "I don't know why," said Mancini. "I haven't asked him why this happened. Usually he doesn't do this, but he makes the mistake this time.'

The result means the start to their Champions League campaign is even worse than last season but they will at least feel their most difficult fixture is out of the way. Mancini said: "We should be disappointed that we have lost this point but we can improve.

"Other teams will lose here. We have five games and it is important that we beat Dortmund in the next game. It will be difficult because Dortmund are a top team."

He also defended himself against the accusation that he had been too defensive. "When you play here, it is not easy. We did what we wanted and scored two goals. Then we made the mistake of dropping off. We have to have more courage sometimes."

The result gave Mourinho the last laugh over Mancini and over the critics who were sharpening their knives as soon as they saw the Real Madrid coach's team selection. "Of course I expect the criticism. I am crazy for leaving Sergio Ramos out and all the creative ones on the sidelines.'

He said he was thinking about "all the headlines that would need to be re-written" as he slid along the touchline to celebrate the late goal.

"We kept going right until the end and that is Real Madrid's DNA. Ramos didn't play because the coach decided not to pick him. No more than that. It was a football decision."

He said he had selected his team for an opponent he knew would look to defend. "They were very defensive in the first half because a draw in the Bernabeu is a good result. I was ready for that. But the game was more open after [Edin] Dzeko scored."

The way the game was freed up after City had taken the lead through the Bosnian striker in the 69th minute was Mancini's biggest gripe – Ronaldo its biggest benefactor.

The former Manchester United winger said: "I celebrate when I want to. We played very well and never gave in."

Mancini admitted that Sergio Aguero would have played a part if Samir Nasri had not broken down in the first half. Interviewed afterwards by Spanish media the striker made a frank admission: "I'm at City because Real Madrid didn't want me. If they had wanted me I would have joined."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones