Mancini salutes battling Blues
- 06 May 2012 16:44
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Roberto Mancini is keeping a cool head despite a City win that puts them within touching distance of winning the Barclays Premier League.
Two second half strikes from Yaya Toure sent City fans at the game and around the world into ecstasy, but the Manager remained level-headed.
"It was difficult because Newcastle are a good team but I thought we deserved to win. We had a lot of chances but because we could not score in the first half we made it hard for ourselves.
"We deserved a goal in the first half, but they defended well. In the second half it was the same, and after Yaya's goals they still had chances so if you want to win these games you have to play well. It will be the same next Sunday."
The turning point came when Nigel de Jong replaced Samir Nasri after an hour, a move that allowed Toure licence to roam further forward. It is something that has been tried and has worked before, and Mancini confirmed it was always up his sleeve if plan A was not working.
"I thought about that before the game, I thought he (Yaya) was an important player in that position so I decided to make that change after 10 minutes.
"It's better to score quickly but Newcastle played very well and made it difficult, but it was important that we finished the game well."
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew generously paid tribute to City after the game, speaking with some pride after seeing his side go toe-to-toe with a Blues side that could be crowned champions a week later.
"There is no shame in this for us, if they do win the league they will be worthy champions. Over both our games with them, I think they are the best side we have come up against this season.
"I thought their defence won them the game because we have been potent going forward, and behind that they have a goalie who is probably the best in the division."