Saturday 16 December 2017

Mancini: I'll take rap for Everton defeat

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini blamed his own complacency for his side's costly defeat at Everton last night.

Former Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson boosted his old club's title chances by firing Everton to a 1-0 win over the Barclays Premier League leaders.

The result prolonged a dismal record at Goodison Park for City, who have now won just once in their last 14 league visits to the ground.

Despite that unimpressive statistic - and with Mancini trailing 4-1 in his head-to-head record with opposite number David Moyes prior to the game - the Italian said he still underestimated the Merseysiders.

Mancini said: "I didn't prepare well for this game. I thought it was maybe easier. I know here it is never easy, never.

"I acknowledge my mistake. It is important for me to know this because, like this, I can't do the same mistakes in the next game.

"The players put everything on the pitch but I made some mistakes

during the last three days preparing for this game."

When asked how he made such errors, Mancini said: "We played well against Tottenham, we won the last three games in the Premier League.

"I thought Everton were without three or four important players, and maybe we did these mistakes. It can happen."

The defeat allowed United to move level with City at the top and they now trail their neighbours only on goal difference.

But Mancini said: "This is not important. We are on the top again. We have 15 games. It is important next Saturday we win the game at home. We have time."


Gibson's match-winning strike came on the hour, the Irishman lashing in the from the edge of the area - via a deflection - from a Landon Donovan knock-down.

Denis Stracqualursi earlier had a header cleared off the line by former Toffees defender Joleon Lescott but Samir Nasri hit the bar for City from distance.

Everton's victory came on a brilliant night for the club in which they completed a deal for Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic and re-signed former favourite Steven Pienaar on loan from Tottenham.

After being forced to field a makeshift defence, Moyes also felt the win was one of the best of his near 10 years in charge.

Moyes said: "That is as good as it has been at Everton for a long time.

"With the team we had out, the players we had missing - it says a lot about the club and how we always seem to come back to do it.

"We might have played smoother football and been better, but against the side we were playing against, I think the players deserve a lot of credit."

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