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Friday 06 April 2012

Mancini: Defeat could end title bid

Man City manager admits defeat at Arsenal and victory for Man United could decide title

David Silva scored the winner when Manchester City beat Arsenal in December

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admits that defeat at Arsenal on Sunday could end his side’s hopes of winning the Barclays Premier League title.

Defeat for City at the Emirates Stadium and victory for Manchester United at home to Queens Park Rangers would leave United eight points clear at the top of the table.

Asked if the title race would be over if that happened, Mancini said: "If we lose against Arsenal and if they beat QPR, yes."

Mancini, however, is still hopeful that his side can mount a fightback in the final seven matches of the season despite seeing their commanding lead over United slip away.

"It's important that we win our games and after we will see what happens"
- Roberto Mancini

"Why not? It’s possible. If they win all their games, congratulations, they deserve to win the title.

"But seven games to the end, I think that everything can happen," said Mancini, whose side will host Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Monday 30th April.

"It's important that we win our games and after we will see what happens. Also because we will play a derby, which will be three points. I think that in six games they can lose other points."

City could welcome back striker Sergio Aguero from injury for the trip to Arsenal, who have won seven of their last eight League matches.

The Gunners saw their winning run come to an end last Saturday when they lost 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers.

They have already suffered two 1-0 defeats to City so far this season - in the Carling Cup quarter-final at the Emirates in November and the League match at the Etihad in December.

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Key Points

  • Man United could go eight points clear on Sunday
  • Man City have beaten Arsenal twice this season
  • QPR ended Arsenal's seven-match winning run