Mancini rues ‘stupid’ mistakes

City crashed to a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their Europa

League last-16 tie as goals from former Chelsea striker Andriy

Shevchenko and Oleh Gusev either side of half-time handed the

Ukrainians a useful advantage. Mancini was critical of City’s

defending with goalkeeper Joe Hart culpable for the first and Micah

Richards for the second. The Italian boss said: “I think that 2-0

is not a good result but at Eastlands it will be a different game.

“Tonight we played a good game. The difference was the goals we

conceded. Usually we don’t concede goals like this – we are more

professional. We conceded two stupid goals. They played on the

counter, so I’m frustrated. “We didn’t mark well for the first

goal, the second goal the same. We were four or five metres from

the opponent. When you mark in the box you should be near.” City

rarely threatened as an attacking force after a bright start in

freezing conditions and failed to live up to their billing as

tournament favourites. Mancini, however, is convinced they can keep

their European campaign going and make the quarter-finals of the

competition. He said: “I think that we had some problems and I hope

that it can improve with the strikers for the return match. “If the

strikers improve and the defenders pay attention maybe we have a

chance to go through. “Dynamo Kiev were fresher than us tonight. A

few of us in the championship have played (recently) every three

days.” Meanwhile, Mancini revealed that Balotelli was left

suffering from an unexplained allergy. The Italian was over a

minute late coming out for the second half and eventually replaced

in the 57th minute following a booking after complaining of feeling

unwell. Mancini added: “Mario had an allergy – I don’t know what.

His face was swollen – I don’t know why. “He wanted to play in the

second half but he had this problem 10 seconds before coming out.

“I came out a minute before the players and I didn’t see Mario. “He

then said he could play but his face was swollen.” It is understood

Balotelli, who arrived from Inter Milan for £24million in the

summer, is allergic to certain types of grass.