Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini took responsibility for his team’s inept performance in their 3-0 defeat away to Liverpool. City were undone by Andy Carroll’s first goals for Liverpool and a Dirk Kuyt strike, all in the first 35 minutes of Monday’s match at Anfield.
The result leaves City fourth in the English Premier League table, just three points clear of Tottenham Hotspur and in danger of slipping out of the all-important Champions League qualification places.
“Tonight I made a mistake, it was my fault,” Mancini said. “I’m very sorry for the fans and I’m very sorry for this game.”
“I think Liverpool played fantastic in the first 20 minutes. We left a lot of space for them and they were very aggressive while we played very soft.”
“I made three changes to bring in three fresh players but our focus was not good. After 20 minutes we started to play but it was too late.”
“We probably thought that if we played this game less than 100 percent we could still get a win. But football is not like that.”
“I have learned something about myself. I have a lot of experience so it was my mistake not the players.”
Despite the reverse, Mancini insists that City will finish fourth or higher and also believes his team will overcome cross-city rivals Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final.
“I am sure we will get in the Champions League and we will get to the final (of the FA Cup),” he said.
“If we won this game then for the fourth position, third position, (we would have been) ok.”
“Now I think we should fight until the end.”
“For us it was very important to win this game. But now it’s finished it’s important we forget this.”
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was delighted to see striker Andy Carroll get off the mark following his transfer from Newcastle in January.
“The first goal was a great strike and the second goal, great ball in and a flick on and it ends up in the back of the net,” Dalglish said.
“So that won’t do him any harm to get his first two goals at Anfield. Still waiting for one at the Kop off him, so maybe we’ll get that at the next home game.”
“I think it is a gratifying performance for everybody.”
“I thought they (the Liverpool players) thoroughly deserved their victory, I don’t think it flattered them in anyway.”