Mancini relief after Hart stopper nearly costs City


MANCHESTER manager Roberto Mancini admitted his side are lucky to still be in the FA Cup after their former boss Sven-Goran Eriksson nearly masterminded a third round defeat.

City reacted well to Sol Bamba’s first minute strike to lead 2-1 at the break through goals from James Milner and Carlos Tevez.

But an uncharacteristic error from Joe Hart in the 64th minute allowed Andy King to equalise and grant Leicester a replay they merited.

Mancini backed his goalkeeper, outstanding in last week’s goalless draw against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, but reminded his player an end to their 35-year trophy drought can only be achieved if maximum focus is maintained.

He said: He said: “Has he [Hart] said sorry? Yes, but his save in the first half and in other games were good. This can happen, it was unlucky.

“I think that it is a good result for both teams. Leicester played very well. They did not deserve to lose.

“For us, it was also important because now we understand that if we want to win the FA Cup, we have to play at 100 per cent.

“We want to go to the final, it is important when we play other teams that we have to focus on the game.

“We conceded a goal after just one minute, we slept for two or three minutes. But we improved during the game and scored two good goals.”

Bamba gave the Championship side a dream start when he pounced from close range after City had been caught out by a short corner routine.

The Ivory Coast international could do nothing to prevent Milner from levelling the tie, however, in the 23rd minute when the England winger created space with a clever dummy and slammed a shot past Chris Weale.

City were ahead a minute before half-time when Tevez flicked home at the near post, but when Hart made a mess of Paul Gallagher’s cross, King reacted first to prod his team level.

Eriksson said: “We stood up to Manchester City, one of the best teams in the country. I’m very proud of all of my players.”