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Mancini - Odds are not in our favour but we can still qualify

ROBERTO Mancini has not lost hope of advancing to the last 16 of the Champions League but admits that City's hopes of progression are no longer in their own hands.

"Our target was to go into the second stage and at this moment we are depending on other teams," he said.

"But in football anything can happen. If Villarreal play a serious match they can get a result.

"It is important we play our game against Bayern Munich.

"I am disappointed about the result and I am sorry for the lads. I think we lost undeservedly.

"There is nothing to explain, we are a strong team and we always play well, we always play to win.

"But occasionally you can lose matches, especially in the Champions League.

"I'm not angry and I'm not disappointed. This can help us grow."

Mancini now rates his side's qualification chances as "70pc to Napoli and 30pc to us".

City were undone by two goals from coveted Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani, who struck either side of a Mario Balotelli equaliser.

The visitors had tried to take the sting out of the imposing atmosphere by building patiently early on but Napoli troubled them on the break.

Napoli claimed the lead in the 19th minute when Cavani's glancing header off an Ezequiel Lavezzi corner was deflected past Joe Hart.

Balotelli levelled before the break with a close-range tap-in after a David Silva shot was parried by Morgan de Sanctis.

But Napoli went back ahead four minutes into the second half when former Liverpool player Andrea Dossena teed up Cavani's second.

City had a number of chances, with Balotelli, Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov going close, but Napoli looked just as likely to score and hit the post through Marek Hamsik.


Balotelli, who headed over in the second half and almost got on the end of a dangerous Kolarov cross, was sick during the game.

Mancini admitted the controversial forward had been suffering from a fever but was incredulous at suggestions his illness related to a visit to a Neapolitan pizzeria on the eve of the game.

He said: "He has a small fever, it is nothing serious.

"He had my permission to see his girlfriend for half an hour -- it was only to say hello to his girlfriend in a pizzeria. He did not have a pizza."

Napoli's double goalscorer Cavani claimed his side had played to their optimum level in the game.

"Let's enjoy this beautiful moment. We knew we could do it from the very first day," Cavani said.

"We always prepare to give our maximum and today we were at our best."