Life goes on after exit, Mancini says


Fri, Dec 09, 2011 - Page 18

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insisted “our life is not finished now” after the Premier League leaders were knocked out of the Champions League despite a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich.

Goals from David Silva and Yaya Toure delighted the home crowd at Eastlands on Wednesday, but it was Napoli who qualified for the round-of-16 along with group winners Bayern after they beat Villarreal.

It meant City’s first Champions League campaign ended with Mancini’s expensively assembled side failing to qualify for the last 16, but they are still five points clear at the top of the English Premier League and in the semi-finals of the League Cup. The FA Cup holders also face archrivals Manchester United, also knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday, in the third round of the FA Cup next month.

“Usually, with 10 points all the teams go through, always, 99 percent,” Mancini told Sky Sports. “This was a very strange group, it was a difficult group. In the Champions League, every squad plays 100 percent. Our life is not finished now.”

He stressed City would take the second-tier Europa League, into which they have now been pitched, seriously, even though it has the potential to have a negative impact by way of injury and additional games on their Premier League bid.

“We go into the Europa League. It’s another trophy and it’s an important trophy for Manchester City,” Mancini said. “It’s a disappointment because we wanted to play in the Champions League. Ten points is very difficult to go out. If you are in the final [of the Europa League] it will be very important because I’ve never won the Europa League. We are a good team. We played well, we’re very sorry for our supporters and I’m sorry for our players. I think we need to improve as a team because we got a tough group this year.”

“Congratulations to Napoli, they got one point more than us,” he said. “Now we are the top of the Premier League and the season will be long, but we want to improve on last year in the Premier League.”