Roberto Mancini says Manchester United will slip up in title race

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Mancini slams City performance

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is confident rivals Manchester United will drop points to keep his side in the Premier League title race.

After City drew 3-3 with Sunderland, United will go five points clear at the top if they win at Blackburn on Monday.

"I think on Monday United will probably do a draw," said Mancini. "Eight games is enough to do two draws. United can arrive in a difficult moment.

"Until we have a point to win this league we will try 100%."

The result leaves City second on 71 points with seven games left, while United lead on 73 points with eight to play.

But the Red Devils have won only two of their last eight league visits to Ewood Park and Mancini predicts they will falter again.

"It is hard but we have another seven games," stated the Italian. "Until we have a point to win this league we will try 100%.

"We have done some mistakes in the last games but also United can arrive in a difficult moment. It is important we are there.

"Before the derby [on 30 April] it is important we recover two points.''

Mancini described the Sunderland match as a "crazy game, very emotional" after City came from 3-1 down to snatch a point.

Sebastian Larsson slotted Sunderland ahead before Mario Balotelli - who Mancini claimed he might have substituted after just five minutes - equalised from the penalty spot.

Nicklas Bendtner headed the visitors back in front moments before half-time and Larsson tapped in his second after the break.

But after Balotelli and Aleksandar Kolarov had argued over who should take a free-kick, Balotelli hauled City back into contention on 85 minutes and Kolarov made it 3-3 with a fierce strike a minute later.

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Draw 'feels like a defeat' - O'Neill

"I think it is the correct result, a draw, but we didn't do a good performance," Mancini commented.

"I am happy only for the last 10 minutes, for the other 80 minutes I am unhappy because we didn't play very well. I don't know why.

"In the first half we were flat and in a game like this, that is very important for us, we can't be flat in the first half.''

Looking ahead to next Sunday's trip to Arsenal, Mancini added: "I'm sure that we will do better than today.

"We missed [striker Sergio] Aguero and for this reason I am disappointed. I hope he can recover for the next game.''

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill suggested there was plenty of life in the title race yet.

"City are a top-quality team," he said.

"There will be twists and turns before end of the season and United still have to visit us on the final day of the season."

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