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Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Saturday, 25 September 2010 16:57 UK

Chelsea will still win Premier League - Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini still insists that Premier League pacesetters Chelsea will retain their title despite losing 1-0 to his team.

Mancini was criticised in some quarters for his suggestion that the west Londoners would win the League "easily" before the two sides met on Saturday.

But he said his opinion was unchanged after Chelsea were beaten at Eastlands.

"I still think they will win it easily because I think they are the best team in the Premier League," Mancini said.

"Sometimes you might get a result like today. But they are the better team."

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti's side went into the match with an unblemished record in the league, having scored 21 goals on their way to winning all five previous games.

But fellow Italian Mancini masterminded a gritty City win, frustrating the visitors with a packed midfield and patient approach that involved getting men behind the ball and waiting for Chelsea to over-commit in attack.

The tactic paid off just before the hour when captain Carlo Tevez scored a superb breakaway winner but Mancini was not in the mood to gloat.

"It is not possible for them to score five goals every game," the City boss added.

"If Chelsea find space it is easy for them to score. But if they don't have space it is too hard and our players defended very well.

"But we cannot think everything is OK just because we won this game."

Ancelotti praised his fellow countryman for City's approach.

"We didn't play how we wanted," Ancelotti reflected.

"They won a lot of tackles in midfield and we conceded a lot of counter-attacks. We were not able to use speed in our play because there was no space.

"We played too complicated in the opening half so we didn't have a chance to score.

Man City are title rivals - Ancelotti

"They used a good tactic to play against us. To play against us they wanted to counter attack and they did some very well. We knew this but from one counter-attack they scored.

"If you play against a good team with a strong defence and you don't play at your best then it is normal that you don't score a goal.

"They have fantastic players and a very good squad and they can fight for the title."

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see also
Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea
25 Sep 10 |  Premier League
Mancini expects Chelsea title win
24 Sep 10 |  Premier League
Ancelotti concerned by injuries
22 Sep 10 |  Chelsea

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