Mancini takes blame with City on the brink

AJAX 3 vs MANCHESTER CITY 1

MANCHESTER City manager Roberto Mancini last night insisted that the blame lies with him after another Champions League defeat took them to the brink of elimination from Europe’s elite competition.

With one point from three games, City are at risk of an underwhelming group stage exit for the second season in succession after Samir Nasri’s first-half goal was eclipsed by Siem de Jong’s equaliser and further finishes from Niklas Moisander and Christian Eriksen. Poor European performances effectively mar Mancini’s otherwise successful managerial career yet the Italian was adamant that the responsibility for his side’s shortcomings lies with him and accepted that only a “miracle” could keep them in contention.

“They played better than us,” said Mancini. “It was probably my fault because I prepared badly for this game, I didn’t prepare the players and I’m at fault for the defeat.

“It’s very difficult. There’s one team with seven points, one team with six and one with three. It will be a miracle [if we qualify].”

Nasri’s 22nd-minute goal came against the run of play before De Jong’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time, and Moisander’s and Eriksen’s second-half efforts.