English Premiership

Mancini plays down derby

2012-04-24 21:48
Roberto Mancini (File)

Manchester - While the British media tries to build up the importance of next week's Manchester derby, City manager Roberto Mancini is doing his best to play it down.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson helped set the tone of most coverage when he said the game is effectively a playoff for the Premier League title, but Mancini has made a convincing case to the contrary.

Mancini has continually pointed out that each team has two games remaining after Monday's match and, with both teams having dropped points over the past few weeks, there could be more twists in the title race.

"The derby is always the game of the year," Mancini said. "For the supporters, a derby is always a different game to the others. It is important for the city. Manchester has two top teams who are in a position to play this important game.

"But for us it will just be one more game, not because we fight for this or for that. And after it there are another two games, very tough games."

True, the rivalry with City does not carry the same animosity or historical significance for United fans that comes with their clashes against Liverpool and Leeds.

United and Liverpool are by some distance England's most successful ever clubs, while the acrimonious rivalry with Leeds even goes beyond sport to a contest for supremacy between counties that stems from an ancient power struggle between royal houses.

But Mancini is wise not to even attempt to convince City fans that Monday's meeting is "just another game" for them.

City have long been in United's shadow, even tumbling into the third tier for the first time in their history while United were into their current 20-year streak of success that has taken them to an English record 19 league titles - one more than Liverpool.

City have just two league titles to their name - the most recent 44 years ago - but last season's FA Cup final win and a 6-1 victory at Old Trafford earlier this season indicates that the balance could be shifting their way.

That defeat to City was Ferguson's worst against any team in his 26 years in charge of United. Until then, things had gone relatively smoothly for most of his 44 Manchester derbies.

Even setbacks were compensated for, with a 5-1 defeat at Maine Road in 1989 avenged by a 5-0 Old Trafford victory five years later. A 2-1 defeat in the 2010 League Cup semi-finals was rendered unimportant by a 3-1 second-leg win the following week.

Only with a 1-0 FA Cup semi-final win for City and October's rout at Old Trafford has United truly faltered under Ferguson against City.

"The one at Old Trafford was a fantastic derby," Mancini said. "But it was a game that can happen only once every hundred years."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

WRAP: English Premiership

2014-10-19 19:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

The truth about painkillers and exercise

Many of us use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to mask pain so they can continue with their training.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
This is why you need to get fit in your 20's
Fixtures
20 October 2014
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 21:00
25 October 2014
West Ham United v Manchester City, Boleyn Ground 13:45
Liverpool v Hull City, Anfield 16:00
Southampton v Stoke City, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace, The Hawthorns 16:00
Swansea City v Leicester City, Liberty Stadium 18:30
26 October 2014
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 15:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, White Hart Lane 15:30
Manchester United v Chelsea, Old Trafford 18:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who is the best new player in the English Premiership this season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.