| 9.9°C Dublin

Mancini plays down title bid as United stumble

TONGUE-in-cheek Roberto Mancini is ready to fight Alex Ferguson to the bitter end for the Premier League title.

"It's finished," he said, keeping a straight face even after Manchester City put four without reply past West Brom while Manchester United dropped three points at Wigan.

City cut their rivals back to a five-point lead and will now be viewing the derby game on April 30 in a more optimistic light.

But Mancini, annoyed that his team was written off by pundits before last night's dramatic events, is playing the poor mouth.

"United are a fantastic team and I don't think they can lose five points," he claimed. "It's important we finish this season well.

"I will always fight, as will my team. But now I think it's too late. It's not mind games," he said -- but nobody believes him.

Ferguson accepted last night's defeat with a forthright review.

"It was a disappointing performance. We didn't reach the levels that we have in the last few months so I think we got what we deserved," he said.

3SEE PAGES 70-71