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Mancini doubts five-star City will worry Ferguson

Roberto Mancini does not expect Alex Ferguson to be any more worried about FA Cup semi-final opponents Manchester City than he was before their 5-0 thrashing of Sunderland.

City leapfrogged Chelsea into third place in the Premier League with their rout over the Black Cats.

It made for an interesting afternoon's entertainment for Manchester United manager Ferguson, who viewed the game from the stands at Eastlands ahead of his side's cup showdown with City at Wembley on April 16. But asked if he thought Ferguson might be concerned by what he had witnessed, Mancini said: "I don't think so.

"He knows the FA Cup semi-final is one game in which anything can happen, and he knows Manchester City well -- like we know Manchester United."

Adam Johnson, making his first start since injuring his ankle in January, opened the scoring in the ninth minute and captain Carlos Tevez doubled the Blues' advantage on the quarter-hour mark from the penalty spot.

Second-half strikes from David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure completed the rout as City moved a point above the defending champions.

They are also now six points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race for Champions League football, although both Spurs and Chelsea have a game in hand.


Mancini has frequently drawn criticism for his side's apparent conservatism, but with Tevez fit again having missed City's 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge with a groin problem, the manager opted to pair his top-scorer with fiery Mario Balotelli up front.

Additionally boosted by the return of Johnson, it was a positive-looking team selection by Mancini, and it paid off even more handsomely than he expected.

"It was important for us to win this game because we had the chance to go into third position," Mancini said.

While the season still holds much promise for City, Sunderland have gone seven league games without a win and need rapid improvement if they are to avoid being dragged into the relegation dogfight.

Bruce said: "We haven't got enough points in the bag (38 points after 31 matches). We are six points (above the relegation zone) and there are seven games to go. We have been on an horrific run. We have to arrest that."