Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Mancini turns on duo after derby loss



Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini reserved pointed criticism for Samir Nasri and Mario Balotelli after his side's damaging derby defeat by Manchester United.

City went down 3-2 in injury time at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with Robin van Persie's 92nd-minute free-kick bringing United victory after Pablo Zabaleta looked to have claimed a share of the spoils with a late equaliser.

Van Persie's free-kick took a telling deflection off Nasri, who appeared to shy away as the ball arrowed towards him, while Balotelli stormed straight down the tunnel after being substituted in the 52nd minute.

Carlos Tevez, Balotelli's replacement, stepped out of the defensive wall as van Persie prepared to strike his decisive set-piece, but Mancini dismissed suggestions he had instructed the Argentine to move.

"It was a dangerous free-kick," said the Italian. "I don't know why (Tevez left the wall), but we made a mistake there."

Tevez's departure from the wall left City with only three players to face van Persie's shot, but Mancini said Nasri's behaviour was more baffling.

"In the last free-kick, we put only three players there," he said.

"Were there three? We had two and a half. We didn't cover very well."

He added: "We dominated the second half, but we can't concede a goal like this. If it hits you in the face, it hits you in the face.

"In the history of football, there are teams who didn't win championships for this reason. I'm really upset we didn't win this game."

Mancini was also less than impressed with the display of Balotelli, who came back into the starting XI after starting City's previous two games on the bench, only to leave the fray before the hour with little to show for his efforts.

"I love Mario like a guy, and as a player, but I think it's important for him to start to think about his job if he wants to play well," said Mancini, who dropped his countryman from the City squad earlier in the season over his lack of application in training.

"When you have a player with Mario's quality, you can't believe that he throws his quality out of the window.

"I've seen players in my life with fantastic quality who ended up with nothing and I don't want Mario to finish like these players, because it will be bad for him."

To make matters worse for City, who were eliminated from all European competition in mid-week, they lost captain Vincent Kompany to an apparent groin injury midway through the first half.

Mancini was also critical of referee Martin Atkinson and his officiating team, claiming they "made some mistakes", but he pledged not to throw in the towel despite City now trailing United by six points in the Premier League.

"We need four or five wins in a row, but we have a good spirit for this," he said.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...