Slick City give Leeds a shoeing
Leeds United supporters wave their shoes in the air as they sing during their FA Cup fifth round match against Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Reuters/Phil Noble
SOCCER:Roberto Mancini hopes Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Leeds United that secured their place in the FA Cup sixth round is the “brodino”, or soup-starter, to a comeback in their title defence. Mancini is hopeful his captain, Vincent Kompany, will be fit for the first time in a month following a calf injury to lead this challenge.
Goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez plus a Sergio Aguero double gave City a first win in four matches, though by the time Chelsea are welcomed on Sunday they could be 15 points off the pace as Manchester United play the day before.
Asked if the win could help kick-start City’s challenge, Mancini said: “In Italy we say a game like this is a brodino – a starter. I hope it can happen that we start to win in the Premier League again.”
The Italian is unfazed his side might be 15 points behind United when Chelsea visit.
“This is possible, but I think we should always be confident in ourselves, even when we’re 12 points behind at this moment,” he said.
Lost seven points
“We lost seven points in [our last] three games and this can happen for any team. But now they [United] play a lot of games, at this moment they deserve to stay there because they have been better than us and scored more goals.”
Mancini is hopeful that the FA Cup can again be won following their 2011 triumph. Of the victory over Leeds, he said: “I’m happy because it was important to win after Southampton – the FA Cup is difficult. We started this game very well, we started very quickly and scored two goals, after [that] it was easier. Arsenal showed this yesterday [in being knocked out].
“Every game in the FA Cup is difficult if you don’t have a good approach. Every team plays like it’s a Champions League final. The FA Cup is an important trophy in England because you should play 100 per cent if you want to win.”
Aguero’s double took him to 13 goals for the season, Tevez’s strike made it 10 for him, and with City having scored 14 fewer than United in the league, Mancini hopes their form can be consistent.
“Our strikers need to continue to score like they did today,” he said. “If they do that, we can have other chances. I hope Sergio will be like this from now to the end of the season because if he is and our other strikers continue to score until the end, then I think the championship isn’t finished.”