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League matches like European finals, says Mancini

24 February 2012 18:52

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said his side must treat each remaining league game as a Champions League final.

Mancini's men hold a two-point lead at the top of the table, ahead of local rivals and reigning champions Manchester United.

They face Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, the next challenge in their quest to break a 44-year league title drought.

The Italian boss has insisted that the club must not underestimate Steve Kean's side in the match at Etihad Stadium, as their tital rivals United did when they succumbed to a 3-2 loss against the same opposition in December, and believes a relegation-threatened club poses a significant hazard.

"It is impossible to be complacent," Mancini told reporters.

"Every game is like a Champions League final and for this reason we need good concentration."

"Now we have a game against Blackburn on Saturday and I think every game from now until the end will be difficult."

"When you play against a squad playing against relegation, it can be more difficult."

"Blackburn won away against Manchester United and we know they are a good team, they are strong on the counter-attack."

"They have been playing very well in the last two or three weeks. They are playing to get away from the bottom."

City's title challenge is boosted by the return of Yaya Toure from the Africa Cup of Nations, and the Ivory Coast international will likely make his Premier League return on Saturday.

Mancini praised the midfielder's mentality, adding: "Yaya is a high-quality player, he used to play for Barcelona and he is used to playing to win every game."

"I think his mentality is very strong and that can help all the team."

"But we have other important players and I think it is a good mix."

First-team coach David Platt stated that Carlos Tevez is far from first-team fitness, and will certainly play no part in the weekend's clash.

"He still has a bit of work to do in terms of preparations before he is ready to go on to the pitch. That is probably not what people want to hear," Platt said.

"There will be a clamour for a Carlos Tevez story but that is not the important thing. The important thing is Manchester City."

"We have to try and temper the clamour. It will take its own course and its own action."

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Info

Competition
Premier League
Date
25 February 2012
Game week
26
Kick-off
18:30
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
3 - 0
Venue
Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
Attendance
46782

Goals

M. Balotelli 30'
(assist by A. Kolarov) 
1 - 0
S. Agüero 52'
(assist by David Silva) 
2 - 0
E. Džeko 81'
(assist by A. Kolarov) 
3 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
8
10 81'
7
2
19
22
30

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