Mancini: Victory over Chelsea has kept our title chase alive

Julian Harris
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MANCHESTER City manager Roberto Mancini refused to admit defeat in his team’s bid to retain their Premier League crown, having gained confidence from yesterday’s convincing win over Chelsea.

The visitors were made to pay the price for Frank Lampard’s early second-half penalty miss, as excellent strikes from Yaya Toure and substitute Carlos Tevez saw City cut the gap between themselves and Manchester United to 12 points.

“In football it is finished when it is finished, the last minute of the last game,” said a defiant Mancini.

“If we arrive at four games to go with United 12 points ahead it is finished, but I think our job is to continue to work.”

United had gone 15 points clear on Saturday with a two goal victory at QPR that piled more pressure on City to win yesterday’s clash.

Mancini’s men started well, with Toure testing Petr Cech within the first minute of the game, while Matija Nastasic aimed a free header too close to Cech after a quarter of an hour.

Striker Sergio Aguero missed a one-on-one minutes later, while Jack Rodwell sent a header over the bar.

But just six minutes after the break Chelsea could have taken the lead, when Demba Ba was felled by Joe Hart. Hart atoned for the foul, however, by getting an outstretched hand to Lampard’s low, firmly-struck penalty. Lifted by Hart’s heroics, City pressed forward again and soon after the hour mark Toure ghosted into the box past Lampard and John Obi Mikel and curled a low shot inside the far post, for his eighth goal of the season.

The result was confirmed five minutes from time when Tevez drove a shot into the top corner from 20 yards.