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What They Said: Mancini bemoans 'soft' City

ESPN staff
November 25, 2012 « Hardy: I'd love to fight Diego Sanchez, he's hilarious | Chartbeat test »

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Roberto Mancini bemoaned "two points dropped" after Manchester City were held to a 0-0 draw by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

"I think we play very well but are missing a goal," Mancini said. "We had a lot of chances but were missing the last pass or shot. When you are near the box you should be very strong, if you are soft you cannot score.

"We dominated the first half, second half Chelsea did better, but we need to be strong, we were too soft. Games here are always hard but today we played well while missing the last pass. Last year we lost a good game, this year we took one point. I am not happy but I prefer this."

Andre Villas-Boas was relieved to see Tottenham secure three points with a 3-1 win over West Ham after a run of three successive league defeats. Villas-Boas, who was keen to not let offensive chanting by West Ham fans detract from an impressive performance on the pitch, was delighted to return to winning ways.

"I think it was a very good performance," Villas-Boas said. "We have been chasing a good, solid 90-minute performance for a while and we got it today very deservingly. It was extremely important to get back to winning ways - particularly against a team who has been doing well in a London derby."

Andy Carroll was relieved to break his West Ham duck, but said his first goal for the club meant little after the Hammers were well beaten by Tottenham.

"It was about time, to be honest. I'm just grateful to have got off the mark and hopefully there will be more to come this week," Carroll told West Ham TV. "We should have done better, but they have taken their chances and obviously beat us. Coming here we were up against a great team and they showed that with the passing, the rhythm and the pace they have got in their team. I have to say we were just disappointed with our mistakes because they cost us."

Southampton climbed out of the bottom three with victory over Newcastle © Getty Images
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Southampton manager Nigel Adkins believes there is "forward momentum" at St Mary's after the Saints recorded back-to-back wins after goals from Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez secured a 2-0 victory over Newcastle.

He said: "It was probably a better performance than last week. There was a good momentum about us and we carried that on today. It was a good performance. We scored two, but could have scored some more. The crowd were great, the players were great and we got a clean sheet.

"We've been progressing all the way through. Last week I spoke about a growing maturity about the group of players and I think we're progressing well. Our confidence has been good since the start of pre-season, but you've got to get yourself ready as quickly as possible to reach the level the Premier League is at. We worked very hard to get here and we'll continue to keep working hard. We have a forward momentum about ourselves."

Magpies boss Alan Pardew, who was sacked by Southampton two years ago, admitted he was concerned by Newcastle's form, with just one win in their last eight games ahead of a tough trip to Stoke on Wednesday.

"We're worried, of course we're worried, because we are Newcastle United and we've really got that dressing room to take into Wednesday night," he said. "It's not like we can add four or five players from the squad into that group.

"That is our group and they have been soundly beaten today and are going to another tough place. We have three days to try and lift the team to try and get ready for another tough game."

Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool were denied a perfectly good goal as his return to former club Swansea ended in a 0-0 draw. Jose Enrique's goal from close range effort was disallowed for offside, but Rodgers believed the Reds should have left Liberty Stadium with all three points.

"We were unfortunate with the offside goal we had ruled out; that was a goal, I have seen it on the replay. But we are now eight games unbeaten and we are chipping away and our method was good today."

Michael Laudrup disagreed and felt the Swans deserved to take a point from the game.

"I think it was a good point, I think we deserved that point," he said. "In the first half they had more chances than us but we had chances too and I am pleased with the performance.You know when you play against Suarez and (Steven) Gerrard they can always invent something, but I think we handled it well."

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