Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini has apologised to fans for underestimating opponents Sporting Lisbon, with their loss against the team resulting in their exit from the Europa League on Thursday.
Mancini expected Sporting Lisbon to be easier to play against than Porto, their opponents in the previous round, as the team exited for the exit time this term.
Although Sergio Aguero bagged a double and Mario Balotelli scored a penalty as City came back from 2-0 to win 3-2 on the night at the Etihad Stadium, they were ultimately eliminated based on away goals after their 1-0 defeat in Portugal.
City’s entertaining second-half performance at failed to mask a disappointing opening 45-minute display which saw Sporting race into a 3-0 aggregate lead.
Mancini said that “I made a mistake in the first game when I prepared because, after Porto, to play against Sporting I thought was maybe easy, but football is never easy.
He took full responsibility for the error in judgement saying ”I am the manager, it is not the players fault, it is my fault. Probably I made mistakes – the players did everything on the pitch so I’m very proud.”
At this stage, Mancini and his team’s only opportunity for a trophy is in the Premier League where they dropped to second last weekend for the first time since October after losing at Swansea. However, Mancini is confident they can return to the top.
“If we have the same spirit as we did in the second half [against Sporting] we can win the next game against Chelsea. And I am confident for the Premier League – we have stayed on the top for six months, now we are one point behind,” Mancini commented.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart, who almost won it for Man City against Lisbon with a dramatic injury-time header, believes the squad are still confident of winning the league title ahead of their game against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Man City next play against Chelsea in the Premier League at home on 21 March.