City reign in Manchester but Mancini gives up title



MANCHESTER City manager Roberto Mancini insists the Premier League title is still heading to Old Trafford this season, despite his side cutting Manchester United’s lead at the top of the table to 12 points.

After a Vincent Kompany own goal had cancelled out James Milner’s opener, Sergio Aguero came off the bench to earn the visitors their fourth league win in five games.

However, Mancini feels three points for the reigning champions simply just delays the inevitable.

“It’s finished,” he said. “We kept the ball and played better, we showed we don’t deserve to stay 15 points behind. But whether we finish 12, 15 or 18 points behind it changes nothing. Finishing second is the only thing that is important now.”

United, who lost at home to City for a second consecutive season, will now have to wait at least three more matches for their coronation.

And manager Sir Alex Ferguson says such scenarios are why he dubs this period of the season ‘squeaky bum time’.

“We put our supporters on the edge of their seats every year,” he said. “There’s only seven games left and as each game goes we whittle them down, but we weren’t taking it easy.

“It wasn’t a bad day in terms of performance level, but you never want to lose a derby.”

City moved in front on 51 minutes when Milner blasted in from the edge of the box after Gareth Barry dispossessed Ryan Giggs and squared to Samir Nasri, who set up the England midfielder to open the scoring.

United levelled eight minutes later when Robin van Persie fired an inswinging free-kick across goal which Phil Jones headed against Kompany who inadvertently deflected the ball over the line.

But with 12 minutes remaining Aguero spectacularly scored City’s winner when he glided past challenges from Jones and Rio Ferdinand then blasted into the roof of the net.