Roberto Mancini: 'We've blown the title'

Feeble defeat at Southampton leaves Manchester City manager despairing of catching neighbours

ST MARY'S STADIUM

A furious Roberto Mancini admitted last night that Manchester City's chances of retaining their Premier League title were down to "10 per cent" and that they will disappear altogether if Manchester United win at home to Everton this afternoon to establish a 12-point lead at the top.

Click here to watch highlights of the game

The City manager was understandably upset by his team's feeble performance in a 3-1 defeat at Southampton, claiming only two players did themselves justice.

The full-back Pablo Zabaleta was one but it was difficult for neutral observers to find a second. It was certainly not the England goalkeeper Joe Hart, who came in for criticism — not for the first time this season — after his fumble gave the home side a second goal inside 21 minutes.

"It was a really bad mistake," Mancini said. "He did two or three mistakes this year, which is not good for us."

Of the position now, City having taken only two points from their last three games, he said: "Twelve points [behind] would be too much. we are not playing well. Today was worse than poor, we did not play and I don't know why."

There was a half-hearted excuse about having had more than a dozen players away on international duty and not being able to prepare properly for the game, but there was far more to it than that.

City were poor in all departments and their only hope after Edin Dzeko cut the deficit to 2-1 was that Southampton would panic and remember that they possess the worst record in the Premier League for losing points after being in front.

Mauricio Pochettino's team had also not beaten a top ten side all season but they took renewed confidence from an embarrassing own goal by Gareth Barry and held on easily to move six points clear of the relegation zone.

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'