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Mancini insists City can defy odds

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is adamant the odds against them retaining their Premier League title are not insurmountable.

A 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool saw them lose further ground on rivals Manchester United, who are nine points clear at the top.

But Mancini insists if they can gradually reduce the deficit over the next couple of months they will still be in a position to challenge when they go to Old Trafford on April 6.

"Last year we recovered eight points in six games so I don't know why it can't happen this year," he said. "We have 15 games and they have to play in FA Cup and the Champions League so the season is long and we are confident.

"It is enough to recover three or four points in three games. For us it is important to play the derby two or three points behind and we have time to recover these points.


"We didn't play like we had in the last month but we are confident."

It is a tall order facing City, but considering they won the title last May with virtually the last kick of the season, Mancini is ruling nothing out.

"Two years ago Chelsea were nine points behind and when they went to play at Old Trafford two games from the end (of the season) they were only two points behind," added Mancini. "I don't think this is finished but probably now we have to win all the games but if not then 11 or 12 games. But in football this can happen sometimes."

Despite Edin Dzeko's 12th goal of the season, converting James Milner's cross from close range, City failed to capitalise and were pegged back by Daniel Sturridge's fierce drive.

"Liverpool played better than us in the first half but I am disappointed for the first goal," added the Italian.

"If Vinny (Kompany) did that foul it would probably be a red card."