Manchester United v Manchester City: Roberto Mancini delighted with performance and says his side 'can improve'
City beat United 2-1 at Old Trafford
Tuesday 09 April 2013
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini felt his team had proved a point - but not reignited the title race - by beating rivals Manchester United.
Sergio Aguero came off the bench to score a superb winner as City deservedly edged a tight affair 2-1 against the Barclays Premier League leaders at Old Trafford.
With United still holding a 12-point lead over their neighbours with just seven games remaining, Mancini has not changed his opinion that City's spell as champions is coming to an end.
But having insisted prior to the game the table was not a true reflection of the difference between the sides, he was pleased his team had proved it.
The Italian said: "The championship is finished but we deserved to win because we played better, we played good football. We didn't take any risk.
"We know that we can win the title next year. This year we did some mistakes but we can do nothing now. The season is gone.
"It is important we continue to win because we have another seven games but it does not change anything for the future.
"We need to continue to play like this for next season.
"We have two or three months where we can work well, where we can improve our team.
"I think we showed here we can't be 15 points behind."
City went ahead when James Milner's deflected strike found the net after Gareth Barry had robbed Ryan Giggs early in the second half.
Phil Jones forced an equaliser when he headed a Robin van Persie free-kick in off Vincent Kompany but Aguero had the final word 12 minutes from time.
Even though the title is all but gone, City celebrated in a manner that suggested the result meant much.
As well as laying down a psychological marker for next season and restoring some pride, it was the first time the club had secured back-to-back wins at Old Trafford for 41 years.
Mancini said: "This is important for us because we can get second position.
"Maybe we have one game in hand and if we win the game against Wigan we go 10 points in front. After that maybe we don't have a problem.
"This is for our supporters because they deserve this victory. After being 15 points behind it was important for them."
City's attention will now turn to their FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.
Playmaker David Silva is doubtful after being forced off late in the game.
Mancini said: "I think it is a hamstring injury. Maybe it is not so bad but I don't think he will be ready for Chelsea.
"Chelsea are in a good moment, they play well and it will be difficult.
"It will be a good game, probably, but it will be different. Semi-finals are different from championship games."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Tottenham player ratings: Christian Eriksen? Harry Kane? Who was the star man at Bramall Lane?
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berdych - LIVE! Australian Open semi-final latest as Murray wins after losing first set
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures