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Mancini: Premier League title race still on

ESPN staff
February 24, 2013 « Price shrugs off 'freak' knockout | Chartbeat test »

Manchester City manager refused to concede the Premier League title to Manchester United, despite trailing by 12 points with 11 games to play after Sunday's win against Chelsea.

Last season City overturned United's eight-point advantage with six games remaining but many experts feel his side have given themselves too much of a task this time.

The Italian, however, does not buy into that theory, telling Sky Sports after his side's win over Chelsea: "We can't think it's finished with 11 games to go. It's not my mentality or the mentality of the players."

City beat Chelsea 2-0 to cut United's lead at the top of the table, and Mancini had Joe Hart, a player he had publicly criticised this week, to thank after the goalkeeper saved a Frank Lampard penalty.

But Mancini played down the importance of the save, insisting City still could have won the game if Frank Lampard had scored the spot-kick.

"If they score the penalty we still had a chance to win because we had another 40 minutes," he said.

"I think Joe is the best in England and one of the best in Europe and I am pleased for him because he saved a penalty, but he could do better before with the long ball; he could be perfect if he wants to."

Hart, who had come in for criticism recently after a poor performance in the loss to Southampton, added: "Lamps is a big hero of mine and it was nice to save it, but I gave it away so I had to. It was just a case of trying to go the right way and getting a strong hand to it."

Yaya Toure, who opened the scoring for City, added: "The first half was quite good, we missed a couple of chances and Joe had to make a big save. I think it made the difference.

"Of course we know United are very strong away and at home and it's going to be very tough, but we have to keep going."

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