Mancini wants city to learn from loss

Updated: 2011-08-09 08:40

(China Daily)

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LONDON - Roberto Mancini insists Manchester City won't suffer any lasting damage from its Community Shield collapse against Manchester United as long as it learns from the Wembley defeat.

Mancini's side led 2-0 at half-time on Sunday after Joleon Lescott headed in a David Silva free-kick and Edin Dzeko beat United goalkeeper David De Gea from long range.

But the FA Cup winner was unable to hold on to its advantage as United hit back to equalize through Chris Smalling and Nani before the Portugal winger punished a mistake from Vincent Kompany to score the winner in second-half stoppage time.

It was a painful way to lose, especially against a bitter rival like United, but Mancini conceded Sir Alex Ferguson's side had the better of the game so he couldn't complain too much about the result.

The City boss was more concerned that his players understand the reason why they lost - mainly their failure to retain possession to frustrate United - and make sure they avoid a repeat in the more important matches to come.

"For us it is important we understand why we lost this game. A top team that doesn't play well but scores two goals needs to have a strong mentality," Mancini said.

"If we play a team like United or Real Madrid in the Champions League we need to understand that we must keeping playing football and not sit deep like we did in the second half. We have to learn from this.

"But this is only one game. It was normal to have a tough game because we were not ready 100 percent.

"The positive was the last 20 minutes in the first half. Now this game is finished and next week we start the season."

Mancini's men are under pressure to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title this season after another close-season of lavish spending.

Losing a two-goal lead against the champion was hardly the most convincing start, but the Italian is sure City will be in the title mix come the end of the season.

"I don't think this result will affect us. It is not important for the Premier League, for the FA Cup or anything else," he said.

"United is a top squad in the Premier League. They are better than the other teams but we can challenge at the end of the season for the title."

Not for the first time, Mancini found himself having to defend the antics of City striker Mario Balotelli, who responded to being substituted after a lackluster display by disappearing straight down the tunnel.

Agence France-Presse