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Mancini slams City for gifting Spurs a lifeline

MANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini tore a strip off his players despite yesterday's last-gasp 3-2 win over Tottenham.

Mario Balotelli's stoppage-time penalty preserved City's three-point advantage over Manchester United.

However, Mancini felt City should not have required such a dramatic late intervention after they had established a two-goal lead, only to throw it away in the space of five minutes.

While no-one could quibble with Gareth Bale's spectacular equaliser, Mancini was less than impressed with the woeful defending from Stefan Savic that led to Jermain Defoe's goal.

"The game should really have been put to bed," City assistant boss David Platt said. "The manager's voice wasn't good but his words in the dressing room were very profound.

"Regardless of the fact that it is a great victory against someone who is up there as well, he is not happy at the gift of a goal and the lapse in concentration that allowed it to go in.

"He has made that clear in no uncertain terms."

David Silva's superb pass set up Samir Nasri to fire City in front, with Joleon Lescott adding a scrappy second soon afterwards.


But Platt admitted he thought the game was lost when Bale skated down the wing in stoppage time and crossed for Defoe, who looked as if he would slide the ball into an empty net.

However, the England striker's effort on the stretch ended up the wrong side of the post and City soon earnt the decisive penalty when Ledley King fouled Balotelli, who scored from the spot to lift his side eight points clear of Spurs.

"It is going to be hard to win the title but all I have ever said is we had a chance," manager Harry Redknapp said.

"We are genuine. There is not much between the teams. We are not a million miles behind Manchester City or anyone else. We are a good team in our own right. I only said it wasn't impossible. It is difficult now. We just have to keep going and see where it takes us."