Manchester City boss Mancini says United game will decide title

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Mancini confident of regaining top spot

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says the Premier League title will be decided when his side face Manchester United with three games to go.

Mancini's side lost top spot to United following their shock defeat to Swansea and trail their neighbours by a point.

But City host United at Etihad Stadium on 30 April and Mancini believes that game will prove to be the decider.

"Today was not critical. I think this championship will be decided with three games to go," Mancini told BBC Sport.

While City were being beaten 1-0 by Swansea on Sunday, United leapfrogged above them thanks to a 2-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion, but Mancini says he is unconcerned about losing top spot now with only 10 games to go.

The Italian also says he is confident that City can still win their first title in 44 years.

"We should fight against them until the end," added Mancini. "We have another 10 games to finish this championship.

"The season is long and every week the situation could change.

"Now it is important we are very comfortable together. It is better to stay at the top but, now we are behind, it doesn't change our target.

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"I'm still confident about winning the Premier League. We were top for months but it just so happens that we are second with 10 games to play. It is important that we are there around the top.

"We know United have gone top, like we were, but now we should be more strong and it is a test for our players. It has been a difficult last four days for me but football is like this.

"The season is long and what happened today can happen also to United."

Mancini believes his side deserved something out of Sunday's game, adding: "We missed three or four chances on the counter attack.

"This is the problem at the moment and we conceded a stupid goal.

"I don't think we deserved to lose this game. Swansea played well in the first 30 minutes but in the second half we had control of the game."

The City boss also dismissed suggestions of a rift with England midfielder Gareth Barry, who exchanged angry words with assistant manager David Platt as he left the field after being replaced.

"Gareth has had a problem for three weeks," said Mancini. "Gareth has a problem, I don't know where. It is a small injury.

"They had a lot of possession in the opening 30 minutes and we needed another striker to press high, not because Barry played badly.

When asked about Barry looking unhappy at being taken off, Mancini replied: "This is normal.

"I decide this. I'm the manager."

Asked about reports that striker Mario Balotelli and midfielder Yaya Toure had a bust-up in the tunnel at half-time, Mancini replied: "I don't know."

As for his latest update on Carlos Tevez, Mancini feels that the Argentine striker is still 10 days away from being fit enough to play for the first team.

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