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Feb 24, 2013

Mancini: Title race not over

Manchester City manager has refused to concede the Premier League title to Manchester United, despite trailing them by 12 points with just 11 games to play.

• Jolly: Mancini wins war

Last season City overturned United's eight-point advantage with just six games remaining but many feel his side have given themselves too much of a task this time.

The Italian, however, does not buy into that theory, telling Sky Sports after his side's win over Chelsea on Sunday: "We can't think it's finished with 11 games to go. It's not my mentality or the mentality of the players."

City beat Chelsea 2-0 to cut United's lead at the top of the table, and Mancini had Joe Hart, a player he had publicly criticised this week, to thank after the goalkeeper saved a Frank Lampard penalty.

But Mancini played down the importance of the save, insisting City still could have won the game if Frank Lampard had scored the spot-kick.

"If they score the penalty we still had a chance to win because we had another 40 minutes," he added.

"I think Joe is the best in England and one of the best in Europe and I am pleased for him because he saved a penalty, but he could do better before with the long ball; he could be perfect if he wants to."

Hart, who had come in for criticism recently after a poor performance in the loss to Southampton, added: "Lamps is a big hero of mine and it was nice to save it, but I gave it away so I had to. It was just a case of trying to go the right way and getting a strong hand to it."

Yaya Toure, who opened the scoring for City, added: "The first half was quite good, we missed a couple of chances and Joe had to make a big save. I think it made the difference.

"Of course we know United are very strong away and at home and it's going to be very tough, but we have to keep going."

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