We can win back the title next year without making any changes, says defiant Mancini

By Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED: 22:52, 8 April 2013 | UPDATED: 06:56, 9 April 2013


Roberto Mancini claims Manchester City will regain the Premier League title next season after Sergio Aguero’s dramatic late winner at Old Trafford.

The City manager, who admitted this year’s title race is over despite their 2-1 victory over United, claims they do not even need to make any summer signings.

Mancini, whose team reduced the gap to 12 points with seven to play, said: ‘We can win the title next season with this squad. We don’t need to make changes.

Horror: Phil Jones is aghast as Sergio Aguero fires home the winner for Manchester City
Carbon copy: Sergio Aguero’s strike was reminiscent to the championship winning goal against QPR
Elation: James Milner celebrates with Samir Nasri after scoring the first goal via a deflection
How they stand: City closed the gap to 12 points

‘United deserve to win the title for sure. But we have lost it because we had some important players injured and that created problems.

‘Yaya Toure and Aguero have been injured and we cannot afford to lose those types of players. But this game we deserved to win. We didn’t deserve to lose at home and we wouldn’t have deserved to lose this.’

Mancini also said that the win proves that the gap isn’t as representative of the respective squads’ strength.

‘It demonstrated tonight that we are not (15 points worse). We are happy, it is normal, you play football, we are happy because we won. We play football to win.

‘We wanted to play football, we had the ball, kept it and played better. It was important for us, we showed we didn’t deserve to stay 15 points behind.’

‘Every time we play United…also the game at the Etihad, we dominated and lost, but this is possible, it is football.

Delighted: Roberto Mancini gave Alex Ferguson a warm handshake before the game began
Old boy: Carlos Tevez had a strong game up front keeping the Manchester United defence occupied

Mancini will now focus on Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Chelsea. He added: ‘Chelsea will be different, it is a semi-final and they are playing well. It will be a good game, but this was important because we want to finish second.’

Of some concern for City was the loss of playmaker David Silva in the closing stages of the game with a hamstring injury.

The Spaniard now looks doubtful for the trip to Wembley.

Mancini said: ‘Maybe it is not so bad but I don’t think he will be ready for Chelsea.’

James Milner, who opened the scoring, hopes the win will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season, in which they are still gunning for a second FA Cup triumph in three years.

‘Every derby is a massive one, we wanted to come and put in a performance,’ he told Sky Sports 1.

‘We deserved the win at what is always a tough place to come. It was a great result and we will want to keep the momentum until the end of the season.

‘We worked very hard and got a win. United are tough to break down at Old Trafford where they have an excellent record.’

Heated: Aguero and Phil Jones square up near the end of the match
Shoving: Ryan Giggs and Gareth Barry also got involved in the argument

City skipper Vincent Kompany was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Phil Jones’ header went in off him in the wake of Milner`s goal, but a Sergio Aguero special won it for the visitors.

Kompany knows the win will do little in the current title race, but hopes it can make a difference heading into next season.

‘We worked very hard and we gave them few chances,’ he said. ‘We were the better team. Every game we play to win and the way we finish the season can have an impact on the next when we will start from the beginning. This is a good game to have under our belt.’

Luck: Jones’ attempted header came off the back of Vincent Kompany and into the goal


Sir Alex Ferguson was furious with referee Mike Dean after claiming David de Gea’s view of James Milner’s strike was obscured by an offside Carlos Tevez.

The United chief said: ‘I have seen the first goal on TV. Certainly Tevez is interfering with play but the linesman on that side — no way is he giving it. Tevez is clearly in the road of the goalkeeper.

If that’s not interference, I don’t know what is.’ Ferguson will not take a 13th Premier League title for granted, but added: ‘As each game goes along you whittle them down. We have Stoke on Sunday. The support will be great.’

Sense of humour: Mancini laughs at a decision during the game although ref Mike Dean had a solid match

Defeat was tough for United to take against their local rivals, but Ferguson was also looking for the positives.

It was a very intense game with the two best teams in the country,’ he said.

We were unlucky to lose it. We know Aguero is a fantastic finisher but we gave him a lot of room. I was pleased with the performance and thought we did really well.

There were lots of plus signs, our form is good, I have no complaints. If you look at the whole thing, it`s not a bad day for us in terms of the performance level.

You don’t want to a lose a derby game, but we’re okay.’