Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini eyes 90-point title target

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says his team need 90 points to win the Premier League this season.

The league leaders beat Stoke City 3-0 to remain two points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United.

United won the title last season with 80 points but Mancini says a bigger total will be needed this time around.

"If we want to win the championship, we should get 90 points because Manchester United keep winning," he said.

The last time the league was won with 90 points was in the 2008-09 season, when United finished four clear of Liverpool.

City have dropped just seven points from 17 games this campaign and made it nine wins out of nine at home with victory over Stoke.

The win, which came courtesy of goals from Sergio Aguero (2) and Adam Johnson, ensured City will be top of the table on Christmas Day for the first time since 1929.

"I am happy to be at the top at Christmas," added Mancini. "I am happy for our supporters. They can have a good Christmas Day.

"But as I have said many times, it is important to stay there for the rest of the season.

"For this, it is difficult. United continue to win every game, the other teams continue to win, Arsenal, Tottenham. But it is better to stay on the top than second."

Manchester United stayed within touching distance of City by beating Fulham 5-0 at Craven Cottage.

Tottenham are third, 10 points adrift of City, but have two games in hand on the top two sides. Harry Redknapp's team host Chelsea, who are fourth, on Thursday.

Mancini, whose side travel to West Brom on Boxing Day, concedes January will be a key month for his team given he will lose influential Ivory Coast duo Yaya and Kolo Toure to the Africa Cup of Nations.

"January is an important month," said the Italian. "I hope we are lucky and don't get any injuries."

City struggled to break down Stoke for the first 20 minutes on Wednesday.

Mancini says his side must get used to playing teams whose chief aim is not to concede.

"It is the same thing that happens against Manchester United," said Mancini. "All the teams that play against them play with fear.

"They don't attack because for a long time, United were a top team and it was very difficult. Probably now, also against us, some teams have a problem and play in a different way."

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