Joleon Lescott prodded home the all-important winner at Villa Park in the 63rd minute to hand City a vital three points in the title race – and the City boss was happy with his side’s display.
“I think that we played very well,” said Mancini, whose side are two points clear of United. “We played a fantastic game and we had a lot of chances to score.
“It was a difficult game, but we knew it would be before the game. We were unlucky but in the end we deserved to win. We deserved to score maybe three or four goals.
“They had only one chance, they didn’t have any for 90 minutes. I think we had 10. But it would have been better to score two goals to take all the risk away before the end.
“It is important that we win away like we were doing at the start of the season. We had 70 per cent of the possession, but Aston Villa are a strong team and they defend very well.”
Joe Hart pulled off a superb one-handed save to deny Darren Bent an equaliser at the death, and Mancini reserved special praise for his first-choice shot-stopper.
“Joe is young, and there are other goalkeepers with more experience,” he said. “He’s one of the best. He can improve but he has many assets and could become one of the top keepers.”
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