Monday 24 September 2012

'Frustrated' Mancini demands Man City improvement

Mancini 'frustrated' after Arsenal salvage 1-1 draw; Wenger encouraged by Gunners

  • Laurent Koscielny wheels away after scoring Arsenal's equaliser against Manchester City

  • Joleon Lescott's header was not enough for Manchester City to beat Arsenal

  • Sergio Aguero, right, and Mikel Arteta battle for the ball at the Etihad Stadium

  • Jermain Defoe fires in the winner for Tottenham against QPR

  • Demba Ba's 19th-minute goal gave Newcastle victory against Norwich City

  • QPR's Junior Hoilett shows his control under pressure from Kyle Walker

Roberto Mancini believes his Manchester City side must improve at both ends of the pitch if they are to mount a successful defence of their Barclays Premier League title.

City had to settle for a third draw in five Barclays Premier League games after Laurent Koscielny scored eight minutes from time to cancel out Joleon Lescott's first-half header and earn a deserved point for Arsenal on Sunday.

"In the last four games we've conceded three goals from set-pieces. This can't happen"
Roberto Mancini

"I'm very sorry today for the players because it was difficult after Madrid but I'm worried because we conceded a goal," said Mancini, referring to his side's last-gasp UEFA Champions League defeat by Real Madrid on Wednesday. "We need to improve and we need to work.

"In the last four games we've conceded three goals from set-pieces. This can't happen. I'm frustrated but the players are frustrated about this. If you want to win, clean sheets are important."

The result left the Barclays Premier League champions in seventh place in the standings, four points behind leaders Chelsea, and three adrift of Manchester United – sides who both mustered late winners against Stoke City and Liverpool respectively.

Mancini suggested that it was time for his charges to cast last season's dramatic title win out of their minds and focus in the present campaign.

"What we did has finished - ­ it's history. Now we are like all the other teams and I don't like that we drew three games. Probably we're missing two points, from the game against Stoke maybe."

Mixed emotions for Wenger

Arsene Wenger felt mixed emotions after witnessing his side salvage a late point after a dominant display at the Etihad Stadium. The Frenchman felt his side were unfortunate not to come away with a victory but took great heart from an emboldened performance.

"I hope the game will reinforce our belief, our confidence and reassure us about our potential in this league"
Arsene Wenger

"I'm pleased because I feel it was the minimum we deserved today," said Wenger. "I'm pleased as well with the quality of our performance and our spirit. I'm a bit frustrated because I feel there was room to do more.

"We had early chances and of course very late chances, especially the chance of Gervinho at the edge of the box where we missed the target.

"But overall I hope the game will reinforce our belief, our confidence and reassure us about our potential in this league."

You can follow how the action unfolded on premierleague.com's Matchday Live, with match reports, photographs and statistics and get involved on Twitter using the hashtags below.

Tottenham and Newcastle win

Jermain Defoe scored his sixth goal of the season as Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 and register their first home Barclays Premier League win under Andre Villas-Boas. After a disappointing first half during which they trailed to Bobby Zamora’s goal, Villas-Boas’s team turned things around after the break, with Defoe's strike and an own-goal from Alejandro Faurlin.

At the Sports Direct Arena, Demba Ba’s fourth goal of the season fired Newcastle United to a 1-0 victory over Norwich City. On a day when Papiss Cisse missed a penalty for the home side, Ba's first-half goal allowed Newcastle to claim a second league win of the season, but only after a fine save by Steve Harper denied Andrew Surman an equaliser.

Sunday 23nd September 2012

MANCHESTER CITY 1-1 ARSENAL #MCIARS

MATCH REPORT, PHOTOS AND STATS >>

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2-1 QUEENS PARK RANGERS #TOTQPR

MATCH REPORTS, PHOTOS AND STATS >>

NEWCASTLE UNITED 1-0 NORWICH CITY #NEWNOR

MATCH REPORT, PHOTOS AND STATS >>

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Key Points

  • Robert Mancini critical of Manchester City's failure to hold on to their lead against Arsenal
  • Italian says Man City must forget about last season's title triumph
  • Arsene Wenger buoyed by positive Arsenal performance in 1-1 draw