Manchester: Roberto Mancini has congratulated Manchester United for winning the Premier League title despite his Manchester City side closing the gap between the two teams to three points with a 2-0 win over Wolves on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for City midway through the first half and Samir Nasri doubled their lead and secured the three points in the second half with a low strike following a neat pass from Carlos Tevez.
If City win their final three games, they will likely be champions, but Mancini was quick to rule his side out of the running.
“Only one team [United] can win this title,” he told reporters. “It’s not in our hands, we have three points less. After the derby we play two difficult games, against Newcastle, who are fighting for Champions League, and against QPR, who are fighting relegation. I think we have three difficult games. If United win 10-0 against Swansea and 2-0 against Sunderland, and we only win 1-0, 1-0, 1-0, we arrive in the same position.”
Meanwhile, despite his side's victory, Mancini admitted he would like to have seen more, and believes Wolves could have snatched a point had it not been for a great save by Joe Hart from Stephen Fletcher with the score at 1-0.
“It [the save] was important because he saved a difficult moment,” said the Italian manager. “For this reason I was upset with my strikers because we didn’t close this game before. We had chance to close this game and if you don’t close this game, you can concede a goal. That moment can change the game.”
However, the Italian did show his delight that City had ground out the victory, but admitted he was sorry that the result condemned Wolves to Championship football next season.
“It was a good day because we won a difficult game,” said Mancini. “Wolves are relegated but I don’t think they deserve to be there because for me they are a good team and I am very sorry for them. They fought on every ball and they played very well and probably we didn’t do a good performance today, but for us it was important to win.”
With the Manchester derby just eight days away, Mancini called on his players to focus on that game and do everything they could to win the game and put a smile on the faces of the City supporters.
“We have the derby, we want to play for our supporters and we want to win,” he said. “We got them a gift in the FA Cup in January, now it’s finished, but Monday will be a different game. They [United] are used to pressure, for us it will be different because for us it’s the first time and we’ve don’t have any pressure because we don’t have a chance to win.”
Mancini also gave a message directly to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: “Congratulations for this season, and for this title.”