Mancini claim amuses Stoke boss

Mancini claim amuses Stoke boss

Published Nov. 28, 2010 10:01 a.m. ET

Tony Pulis laughed off Roberto Mancini's suggestion that Manchester City deserved to win Saturday's Premier League clash at Stoke.

Potters midfielder Matthew Etherington spoiled Mancini's birthday celebrations with a stoppage-time equaliser against City at the Britannia Stadium.

Mancini, who turned 46 on Saturday, claimed his side, who went ahead through Micah Richards in the 81st minute, deserved to win.

Stoke boss Pulis disagreed and could not resist a dig at a manager and a club who have spent millions in an attempt to reach the Champions League.


He responded: "What game was he watching? But he is entitled to his opinion. That is what this country is all about.

"I will leave it to the experts to decide. When you are on top against one of the best teams in the league, you have to take your chances.

"That was the one thing that let us down today. We need to do better in that respect.

"On the whole, we played well. You can have all the money in the world and all the top players but you need to be a team.

"We played like a team today, as one. It takes a lot of beating, irrespective of who the opposition is and the players they have."

Ricardo Fuller should have opened the scoring for Stoke in the 16th minute after a neat-one two with Kenwyne Jones.

However, the Jamaican failed to test goalkeeper Joe Hart and steered his effort wide of the post.

"That was an indication of the kind of football we were playing and it would have been a great goal had it come off," said Pulis.

Robert Huth then hoisted a shot over the crossbar from close range and Jones saw his effort cleared off the line by James Milner.

Stoke were then left stunned in the 81st minute when Richards opened the scoring with a marvellous effort. He picked up a ball from Milner, sold a dummy to Danny Collins before rifling a shot into the corner.

Stoke's equaliser was also well crafted with Etherington finding the corner with his effort after a clever back heel from substitute Tuncay Sanli.

Pulis said: "Tuncay has done well to play him in and it was a good finish from Matty."

Mancini was unconcerned his title-chasers had slipped further behind Manchester United and Arsenal, who both chalked up convincing wins.

He said: "The season is very long. Every game for every team is difficult. This was a good test for us on a difficult pitch.

"I am disappointed with the result because we deserved to win. It was a fantastic performance in the second half.

"Richards scored a good goal, he was not 100% but played well and I am happy for him."

Mancini was also pleased with Mario Balotelli's contribution after the striker returned from a three-match suspension.

"He did well, he did not talk to the referee and that is important," added the City boss.

"Mario has only played three games in the league and had two or three chances. We know he will continue to improve."