Man City 2 Bolton 0: We’re 10 wins from the title, says Mancini
Roberto Mancini is confident the Premier League title is Manchester City's - as long as they can win their next 10 games
Roberto Mancini has challenged Manchester City to win their next 10 games and seal the club’s first Premier League title following victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
City took a first-half lead through Gael Clichy’s deflected shot which left Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan stranded after 23 minutes at the Etihad.
The league leaders were in complete control in the second half, and Mario Balotelli sealed a straightforward victory with a close-range finish in the 69th minute.
“Today was important because we have taken three points and we need to keep winning because Manchester United are very good,” Mancini told City’s website.
“If we could win the next 10 games, we would win the title. We just need to keep playing the way we are and we will have a very good chance.”
Owen Coyle’s side, despite their lowly position, proved resilient opposition for Mancini’s side, and the leaders didn’t make a breakthrough until the 23rd minute.
Clichy’s ambitious shot from outside Bolton’s area was aided by a deflection off the head of Gretar Steinsson as the ball flew past past Bogdan.
The Eastlands side dominated possession but struggled to find the decisive ball to give Balotelli and Edin Dzeko a chance to test Bolton’s young goalkeeper.
But City did extend their lead in the 69th minute when Adam Johnson evaded challenges from three Bolton defenders, drew Bogdan off his line, and produced a clever backheel which allowed Balotelli to fire into the empty net.
“Particularly in the first half we were more than a match for them and it was a cruel goal with a deflection that went in and we looked in no danger,” said Bolton boss Coyle.
“We grew into the game and Joe Hart made a great save to stop Ryo Miyaichi’s shot and the second goal was avoidable, but over the piece, the way we approached the game with that sort of belief, we have to carry that on.”