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Feb 25, 2013

Hart: I "needed" to rescue City

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart admitted he "needed" to save Frank Lampard's penalty to make amends for his foul on Demba Ba which sent the Chelsea midfielder to the spot in Sunday's game at Etihad Stadium.

• Curtis: City find swagger

Hart brought down the 27-year-old Chelsea striker just after the half-time break, and with the scores still locked at 0-0, squared-up against his England team-mate Lampard.

But the 25-year-old Hart pulled off miraculous save low down to his right to deny Lampard, allowing Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez to fire City to a 2-0 win.

"I needed to do it [because] I obviously gave the penalty away. Demba Ba was clever and left his knee in," Hart said. "I needed to save it, the job got done and then the boys did the rest."

And Hart believes the many hours spent training with Lampard in England camps gave him the perfect experience to face the usually deadly penalty taker.

"We talk about it [penalties] at length," he added. "I enjoy talking to him about football, he's a hero of mine, and a really tough opponent.

"I'd stay behind for hours, if I could, practising penalties with him because I know how good he is. I don't think I'm ever going to affect him, I think he's got his way to do it and luckily I went the right way."

City's victory slices the gap back to cross-town rivals Manchester United to 12-points and Hart said he and his team-mates had not given up hope of chasing the Red Devils down in the race for the Premier League crown.

"We never give up, I think we've made that obvious," Hart said. "Even if there's one game to go and there's still 12 points we'll do everything we can to win the league - even if it's not possible!

"Obviously United, if they keep on winning, there's nothing we can do but if they don't, they need to know we're going to be there."

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