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Apr 25, 2012

Mancini curbs derby expectations

Roberto Mancini has attempted to curb Manchester City fans' expectations ahead of Monday's derby clash against Manchester United.

City thrashed United 6-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season, but Mancini has warned fans not to expect a repeat performance at Etihad Stadium on Monday as City look to leapfrog their rivals at the top of the Premier League table.

"The derby is always the game of the year and this one is no different," Mancini said. "But we don't only have this one - there was another derby when we won 6-1 at Old Trafford.

"That was fantastic; a game that can happen only once every hundred years. For the supporters, a derby is always a different game to the others. But we must not forget that there are two more games after Monday. Two very tough games."

While United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits Monday's showdown is the biggest derby clash in his 25-year reign at Old Trafford, Mancini has played down the importance of the match.

"The biggest match was the FA Cup final last season," he said. "This is a derby - but just one more game. The only important thing is to win. We have three points less than United. We need only to play football.

"We are calm because we know we don't have any chance to win this title. It is a football game and we should think only to play football. We are happy to be where we are, we have nine points more than we got last year and I am happy that we can finish the season well."

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