Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, admitted his side were in the driving seat in the battle for fourth place in the Premier League following their 5-1 win over Birmingham City yesterday. Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice and Carlos Tevez claimed a brace after getting a touch to Nedum Onuoha's header. Onuoha, the England Under 21 defender, also netted and Cameron Jerome scored for Birmingham, who suffered their heaviest defeat of the season.
With Liverpool only managing a draw against Fulham and Tottenham in FA Cup action, City's win took them four points clear in the race for fourth. Champions League football is now a distinct possibility for the side owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. "It [the race for fourth] all depends on us," said Mancini. "If we continue to play like that I think we have a good chance. Alex McLeish, the Birmingham manager, told Sky Sports: "It was solid enough up until 40 minutes. The penalty was a bit soft but we can see why the referee gave it.
"The second goal was a bit disappointing because we are normally good at set pieces. We had to chase the game after that. "We've got young centre-backs, rookies in the Premier League. The whole back five, there's things to work on. "At 3-1 we had a couple of chances and we needed to score the next goal." Onuoha said after the match he was happy for Tevez to claim the second goal of the game after the Argentine got a touch to the defender's header.
"He can have it, it's fine," he said. "He rushed to me at half-time as he's desperate to be top scorer." * PA