Mancini in spotlight after cup woe
- Thu 12 Jan 2012, 10:03AM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
There's plenty of fall-out from Wednesday night's defeat to Liverpool, with the subject of tackling still the hottest of hot topics.
Glen Johnson's challenge late in the game raised the temperature in the tunnel shortly afterwards, or so it seems from a myriad of reports.
The Guardian's version is similar to many out there - "Manchester City's second home defeat in four days ended in acrimony on Wednesday night as Steven Gerrard and Roberto Mancini argued in the tunnel. The Italian had asserted that Glen Johnson should have been sent off in the closing moments of the Carling Cup semi-final.
"Gerrard, the Liverpool captain whose first-half penalty secured a 1-0 first-leg lead for Kenny Dalglish's team, accused the City manager of double standards, for demanding a red card for Johnson having condemned Wayne Rooney for doing likewise before Vincent Kompany was sent off in the FA Cup defeat by Manchester United on Sunday."
There's a more analytical view from Paul Joyce in the Express: "The Invincibles have suddenly become the Vulnerables. It may only have been a matter of weeks, yet how foolish were those bold proclamations about Manchester City sweeping all before them en route to establishing themselves as England’s new super-power?
In fairness to Roberto Mancini, who stalked the touchline wearing a dour demeanour in incessant, swirling rain, he had steadfastly refused to indulge in such heady talk, warning instead of the perils that January entailed for his expensively assembled team.
And Spurs' win over Everton, which puts them just three points behind us, increases media talk of pressure on City with goal.com's version being fairly typical:
"Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has insisted the pressure is on top of the table Manchester City after his side's 2-0 victory over Everton pushed them closer to the Premier League leaders.
"I think the pressure's on Man City," Redknapp told reporters after the match. "You look at the money they've been able to spend - they’re going to be expected to be there [at the top of the table], certainly them or Man United. We're just hanging in there. Finishing above Arsenal would be a great achievement."
Classic mind games from Mr R. You can hear the "massive game" clichés being dusted off in time for the sold-out 22nd January clash already.