Roberto Mancini insists Man City can still qualify for last 16
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says his side have a 30 per cent chance of qualifying from their Champions League group
Roberto Mancini refused to write off Manchester City’s hopes of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League – but he admits there is a “70 per cent” chance they will not qualify from their group after their defeat by Napoli.
Edinson Cavani struck either side of Mario Balotelli’s equaliser to condemn Mancini’s men to their second Champions League defeat of the season on Tuesday, meaning the Eastlands club must beat Group A winners Bayern Munich at home and hope Villarreal can take at least a point off Napoli in the final round of fixtures.
“I would give a 70 per cent chance to Napoli and a 30 per cent chance for us,” said Mancini after Tuesday’s defeat. “It doesn’t depend just on us any more. If Villarreal play a normal game they may still get a result. If they play a serious game we can still get to the second stage.
“But Napoli are the favourites now and life doesn’t finish if we don’t get through. Our target was to get into the second stage of the Champions League but we started the season with four different targets. Sometimes you lose, and if we don’t qualify we will play in the Europa League.”
City created a host of chances to equalise in the closing stages of Tuesday’s game, with Balotelli and substitute Sergio Aguero coming closest to finding the net. And Mancini believes his side were unfortunate not to leave Stadio San Paolo with at least a point.
“I thought we played well,” he continued. “We didn’t deserve to lose, we had a lot of possession and we created a lot of chances. But we made mistakes and when you have players such as [Ezequiel] Lavezzi and Cavani they will always put you under pressure.
“We can improve, but it is not just in defence. It’s all the team, not just the defenders. So I’m not disappointed with the performance and I’m sorry for the lads.”