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Tuesday 01 May 2012

Mancini: Title race is not over yet

Man City boss believes United are still favourites despite his side's derby win

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany heads in their winner against Manchester United

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says the Barclays Premier League title race is far from over despite their 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Monday.

City's slender win sent them top of the table on goal difference from United with only two matches left in the 2011/12 season.

If City win at Newcastle United on Sunday and then at home to Queens Park Rangers the week after, it should be enough for them to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time.

"I am happy we are top, but it doesn't change anything"
- Roberto Mancini

But Mancini is refusing to get carried away, and the Italian still believes United - who have matches against Swansea and Sunderland left to play - are favourites.

"We have the title in our hands, but Manchester United are still the favourites," said Mancini after his side completed a League double over their neighbours.

"It's a great victory and we are top again, but United have two easy games left because Swansea and Sunderland have nothing to play for and we have two difficult ones.

'Crazy'

"It's far from finished. If we think it is finished we are making a big mistake. I am happy we are top, but it doesn't change anything. Football is crazy.

"Tonight, we wanted to win and they wanted a draw. They had all their players behind the ball. That is the difference. We wanted to win, we played better and we took our chance."

Captain Kompany, who headed home at the end of the first half to earn City all three crucial points, agreed with his manager that the team's real test now lies in the next two matches.

"We were really happy, but quite quickly after the game we realised that it's all about the next 180 minutes to achieve our goal," said Kompany.

"They are in the driving seat and we are up against it.
- Sir Alex Ferguson

"Those two games will be the most important of our lives. We have to really be focused and do the right things and we must capitalise on what we've done in the rest of the season.

"I think our run-in is about as hard as United's. Newcastle are obviously a top team, but United have to go to Sunderland and anyone who has played the game knows that's not an easy place to have to go to.

"We just have to put our boots on at the weekend and see what happens."

If City do win their remaining two matches, United would have to make up an unlikely eight goals on their goal difference in winning their corresponding fixtures.

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson said the initiative was with United's rivals.

"It was a damaging result," said Ferguson. "They are in the driving seat and we are up against it.

"They only need to win two more games and they win the league."

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Key Points

  • Man City beat Man Utd 1-0 at Etihad Stadium on Monday
  • Roberto Mancini says United are still favourites to win Barclays Premier League
  • City top on goal difference with only two matches left