Man City v Real Madrid: It’s not me versus Mourinho, says Mancini
Man City v Real Madrid: Robert Mancini plays down rivalry with Jose Mourinho ahead of must-win clash at the Etihad Stadium
Roberto Mancini has played down his rivalry with Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho ahead of Manchester City’s clash against the La Liga champions at the Etihad Stadium.
Mourinho, who is set to take charge of his 100th Champions League game, replaced the City manager at Internazionale in 2008 and masterminded the club’s historic treble success in 2010.
The Madrid manager has been linked with Mancini’s current position during testing moments at the Eastlands outfit, but the 47-year-old Citizens boss insists the rivalry between the pair should not be the focus on Wednesday night.
“Congratulations to Jose, because to have already coached 100 Champions League games at his age is a big deal,” said Mancini.
“But it’s not Mourinho v Mancini: it’s between the players, they are more important than we are.”
City must beat Madrid to keep their slim hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout phase alive, with Los Blancos currently in second place with seven points – the Citizens have just two points.
Despite being underdogs to progress into the Champions League last 16, Mancini vowed that City would put on a good performance against the La Liga outfit in search of their first win in Europe this term.
“Maybe it takes pressure off [that we’re outsiders to progress], but when you’re obliged to win and you play an important game like this in the Champions League there’s always pressure,” added Mancini.
“We don’t have much chance to go through but it’s important to put in a good performance. It was a difficult group from the start and now it’s very difficult because of the mistakes we made in the first two games.”
Man City v Real Madrid: Pre-match facts
• City’s home record against Spanish clubs is W2 D1 L0. They overcame Villarreal 2-1 last season thanks to Sergio Agüero’s added-time goal.
• Madrid won 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur on their last visit to England, Cristiano Ronaldo sealing a 5-0 aggregate win in the 2010-11 quarter-finals.
• Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in 11 derbies for United against City, winning seven and losing three. He scored four goals but was twice sent off at the City of Manchester Stadium.
• Twice a Spanish champion with Barcelona, Yaya Toure appeared five times against Madrid, winning three times and losing twice.