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City axe Mancini a year after title glory

Manchester City have sacked Roberto Mancini 12 months after he guided the club to their first league title in 44 years.

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Having failed to mastermind the retention of City's Premier League title this season, losing out to rivals Manchester United, Mancini was under pressure to deliver silverware in the form of the FA Cup.

However, a shock 1-0 defeat to Wigan in Saturday's final immediately led to renewed speculation that the Italian was on his last legs at Eastlands.

And so it proved to be, with Mancini axed by City after three-and-a-half years in the Eastlands hotseat. Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is currently the favourite to be named his successor.

A statement on the club's official website read: "It is with regret that Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as Manchester City Manager.

"This has been a difficult decision for the owner, Chairman and Board to make and it is the outcome of a planned end of season review process that has been brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the Football Club.

"Despite everyone's best efforts, the Club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League. This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the Club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.

"Assistant Manager Brian Kidd will take interim responsibility for the remaining two games of the season and the post-season tour to the United States."

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak added: "Roberto's record speaks for itself and he has the respect and gratitude of Sheikh Mansour, myself and the Board for all of his hard work and commitment over the last three and a half years. "He has clearly also secured the love and respect of our fans. He has done as he promised and delivered silverware and success, breaking the Club's 35-year trophy drought and securing the title in 2012.

"I would like to personally and publicly thank him for his dedication to the progress that he has overseen and for his support and continued friendship."

Mancini arrived in Manchester in December 2009, with City's Abu Dhabi owners choosing the former Inter Milan boss to replace Mark Hughes.

It proved an inspired choice as Mancini led City to FA Cup glory in his first full season in charge, the club's first piece of major silverware since the 1976 League Cup.

He went one better the following year, ending a 45-year wait for the English league title in dramatic style - the last kick of the season from Sergio Aguero securing the trophy on goal difference, most satisfyingly at the expense of United.

After achieving domestic success, European domination was on the mind of City's wealthy Abu Dhabi owners but Mancini failed two years in a row to guide City through the Champions League group stage.

The former Lazio and Italy striker's struggles on the continental stage left him needing to impress again on the home front. City, though, were unable to rein in neighbours United in the Premier League and the FA Cup final upset proved the last straw for the club's hierarchy.


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