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Mar 23, 2012

Nasri eyes potential title decider

Samir Nasri wants Manchester United to carry on winning to set up a title showdown with Manchester City at the end of next month.

Nasri has struggled to fulfil his potential at times since a £24 million summer move from Arsenal. The France midfielder came good on Wednesday night though, finding the finish that allowed City to claim a thrilling comeback triumph over Chelsea.

It meant that with nine games left, the Blues are now a single point behind United, with everything pointing towards the Premier League title being decided at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, April 30, when Sir Alex Ferguson brings his men across town.

Those plans may be wrecked by unforeseen mishaps for either team, but Nasri does not think so. More importantly, he does not want it to happen.

''You know what, I hope they win all their games and that we win all of ours, so we can play a 'final' here,'' said Nasri. ''It would be fantastic for the fans, and for us as well.

''United will be there until the end - they have the experience, they have a manager who has won everything for 25 years. Even if I said I hope they will lose, sometimes you have to be realistic.

''They don't have any really difficult games and it's not good to lie; they will not lose seven of their last nine games. But what we did against Chelsea is a signal to United that we are here and we will be here until the end.''

A more consistent contribution from Nasri would help and, although Blues manager Roberto Mancini is not noted for his compassion, the midfielder admitted he responds to an arm around the shoulder.

''I am someone who works with love,'' he said. ''I like to have a dad with me, then I can give everything. That is what I am starting to feel here, that everyone is giving me the confidence - the owners and the manager.''

Even on Wednesday Mancini was grudging in his praise, claiming that Nasri needed to do more to prove he was the equal of such luminaries as brilliant Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

''I don't know about that,'' said the former Marseille man. ''At the moment they are on top, and I am 24. I can't say I will be like Iniesta - it would be silly to say that. But I can do my own thing and if I have confidence I can get better.''

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