Mancini: Win will help our belief

Gareth Barry put the hosts ahead in the 14th minute, Carlos Tevez

claimed he had got the faintest of touches on Micah Richards’

header seven minutes after the interval and the Argentinian

converted a penalty. It was City’s biggest victory over Liverpool

for 73 years and they were well worth it, although the visitors

were poor on the night. Considering Liverpool regard City as their

main rivals for a place in the top four the result could prove to

be hugely significant – even this early in the season. However,

Mancini was wary of reading too much into the outcome. “I thought

we played well. We need time to gel and improve because we were

missing four or five important players,” he said. “But the team

played with a good mentality. If they play with a good mentality I

think we can beat every team. “We beat a strong team like

Liverpool, who can fight for the title. “This win helped us believe

in ourselves and this is important.” The match was Sheikh Mansour’s

first visit to Eastlands, having taken over almost two years ago,

and Mancini was congratulated by him after the game. “He was very

happy because it was the first time he saw City beat Liverpool – I

think it was a good night,” added the Italian. “I hope he can come

every week, but I don’t think it is possible.” Mancini also singled

out goalkeeper Joe Hart for praise after he produced a brilliant

double save from David Ngog and Fernando Torres with the score at

2-0 to keep a clean sheet. “If Liverpool had scored probably the

match would have changed but they had only these chances in 90

minutes and I think we defended really well and Joe saved very

well,” said the City boss. Manager Roy Hodgson, who saw his side

concede a last-minute equaliser against Arsenal in their opening

game, was unhappy with his side’s defending but is not too worried

yet by their return of one point from two matches. But even after

just two matches Liverpool’s lowly 17th position will do little for

morale. Spirit within the camp was not improved before kick-off

when midfielder Javier Mascherano was withdrawn from the squad

after Hodgson said his “mind was not right” after being distracted

by a £12million bid from Barcelona. “I didn’t think we were

under the cosh to the extent 3-0 might suggest and I think we might

consider ourselves unlucky with that wonderful double save by Joe

Hart,” said the Liverpool manager. “But we defended poorly for the

goals and they took their chances well and I thought they played

solidly and strongly throughout. “They took charge of the game and

we were always fighting to get back into it. “You just have to

accept on a night like tonight they we were unable to produce the

level of performance necessary to get a good result.”