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Sep 19, 2012

Mancini slaps down Hart

Roberto Mancini has issued a withering response to Joe Hart's criticism of Manchester City's performance in the 3-2 defeat at Real Madrid on Tuesday in the Champions League.

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City twice held the lead before eventually falling to Cristiano Ronaldo's late strike at the Bernabeu. After the match, Hart said: "It's not on. You can't go 2-1 up and lose the game. We can only blame ourselves."

The England goalkeeper seemed to be at fault for Ronaldo's winner, letting the ball slip past his dive - and Mancini was far from pleased at hearing Hart had voiced his displeasure at his team-mates' showing.

"Joe Hart should stay in goal and make saves," Mancini said. "If anyone should criticise the team it should be me, not Joe Hart. I am the judge, not Joe Hart."

City have not kept a clean sheet so far this season, and have never looked particularly fluent at the beginning of their defence of the Premier League title - a problem Mancini acknowledges.

"With three minutes to go, we were 2-1 up," he said. "We need to improve the situation because we go too deep sometimes and leave the opponents to play easy on the edge of the box."

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