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Mancini refuses to give up on title race

ESPN staff
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Liverpool and Manchester City played out an entertaining draw © PA Photos
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Roberto Mancini conceded Manchester City may need to win all of their remaining league games to retain the Premier League title but insisted the race is not over after their 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

City, who have been held by QPR and Liverpool in their last two games, are now nine points behind league leaders Manchester United with 13 games to go. But Mancini took heart from his side's comeback last season, when they were eight points adrift of United with six matches remaining and recovered to win their first league title in 44 years.

"The championship is not over," Mancini said. "Absolutely not. [Whether the gap is] seven or nine points doesn't change it, I think we can recover it.

"Probably now we need to win all the games. If not all, 11 or 12. This is football. This can happen sometimes. Last year we recovered eight points in six games. I don't know why this can't happen this year. The season is long. [There are] three months [to go] and we are confident."

Mancini also cited Chelsea's fightback when they came from behind to overhaul United and become champions in 2010, aided by a victory at Old Trafford. He said: "Chelsea were nine points behind and after they came to play at Old Trafford, three games from the end only two or three points behind. In two games the championship can be reopened."

Mancini was critical of referee Anthony Taylor for permitting Liverpool's controversial first goal, scored by Daniel Sturridge while Edin Dzeko lay on the pitch after a challenge from Daniel Agger that went unpunished.

The City manager, still annoyed by captain Vincent Kompany's sending off at Arsenal last month - though the red card was later rescinded - said: "If Vinnie did that foul, it would probably be a red card. Instead, the referee did nothing."

But Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: "The referee had told a couple of the players, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard, to play on. There was no injury, it was purely a referee's decision."

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