Roberto Mancini promises Manchester City will not give up Premier League title hunt

 

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini promised his side would fight to the finish after keeping their slim title hopes alive with victory over Chelsea.

Superb goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez ensured the champions took advantage of a rare Frank Lampard penalty miss to reduce Manchester United's lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to 12 points.

With just 11 games remaining it still seems an unlikely quest but the victory at least extended their advantage over third-placed Chelsea to seven points.

Mancini said: "In football, it is finished when it is finished: the last minute of the last game.

"I think our job is to continue to work."

City were superior and deserved their victory but it might have been different had Joe Hart been sent off for bringing down Demba Ba or not saved Lampard's subsequent penalty. Lampard was one kick away from his 200th Chelsea goal when he lined up a 51st-minute spot-kick after Ba beat Kolo Toure to a long ball and was clipped by Hart attempting to round the goalkeeper.

Yet after scoring his previous 10 penalties, in-form veteran Lampard was denied as Hart redeemed himself with a smart save. It was a good response from Hart after some criticism from Mancini in the week and the keeper admitted it was a save he "had to" make after the foul.

Mancini described Hart as "one of the best keepers in Europe" in a television interview and said he wants "his standards always to be high".

He was less forthcoming in his post-match press conference, praising him only in the context of correcting an error. Mancini said: "I say to him everything when he did a fault. "I think we can't concede a penalty like this with a kick (long ball) from 45 metres - he and Kolo both did a mistake."

City capitalised as Yaya Toure opened the scoring with a superb curling finish from inside the area just after the hour and substitute Tevez added a powerful long-range strike after 85 minutes.

Mancini, who began his media conference by thanking outgoing pope Benedict XVI for his eight years' service, said: "We worked well this week. It was important to start well - be strong, don't concede anything."

While the result may not prevent speculation over the Italian's future, it did not pile pressure on in the way defeat did for opposite number Rafael Benitez. Benitez's side were far from potent and the unpopular Spaniard was once again subjected to abuse from fans.

He continued to put on a positive face and joked when asked if he was tiring. Benitez, who put John Terry and Fernando Torres on the bench, said: "I was not running so I am fine. I am disappointed because we could not win.

"I am just thinking about the next challenge."

Benitez agreed the game hinged on the penalty, but was unsure if Hart should have been sent off. He said: "I haven't seen the replay, but (it should have been) at least a yellow card. You can argue he is going in this direction but it is still a clear chance. "I think it was a turning point. It was a crucial moment in the game."

PA

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil