Mancini still thinks title race is over
Roberto Mancini repeated his verdict that the Premier League title race is all over despite his Manchester City team closing the gap at the top to two points.
A 6-1 win at Norwich, sparked by a hat-trick from one-time outcast Carlos Tevez, may have Manchester United looking anxiously behind them going into Sunday's Old Trafford clash with Aston Villa.
But Mancini does not accept City are right back in the frame, having been eight points off the pace at the start of the week.
"It's finished," he said on Sky Sports 2. When pointed out City trailed by just two points, Mancini replied: "No. Five points."
Evidently the Italian does not expect any slip-up by United at home, but should they falter, as they did at Wigan on Wednesday, it could set up a Manchester derby to savour on April 30.
Mancini was impressed by the performance from Tevez, who was starting successive league games for the first time in 11 months.
"I think now he is better," he said.
"I think we did well this season also without Carlos for four, five months."
Mancini was asked what City might have achieved had Tevez been available all season.
The Argentinian missed a large chunk of the campaign following the row which erupted in City's Champions League match at Bayern Munich in September, when Mancini accused him of refusing to warm up.
"I'm sure if we had Carlos with (Sergio) Aguero, Mario (Balotelli) and (Edin) Dzeko, we would have scored more goals," Mancini said, but hinted it might not have made a difference to the title picture.
United play twice before City are next in action, and Mancini was asked whether he felt Sir Alex Ferguson's team would drop points in those games, against Villa and Everton.
"It's not important now," he said. "We should continue like this. We should score, we should win if possible."