x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Manchester City need to pay attention, warns Roberto Mancini

Dalglish not scared on their visit to Eastlands as Mancini worries on his defence's vulnerability in counter-attacks.

Roberto Mancini refused to dwell much on the three points they threw away with a late counterattack goal at Sunderland.
Roberto Mancini refused to dwell much on the three points they threw away with a late counterattack goal at Sunderland.

Roberto Mancini expects his Manchester City players to learn the lessons from their shock loss at Sunderland very quickly.

City squandered the chance to take a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League when they conceded at injury-time goal at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

The defeat compounded the frustration felt after a goalless draw at West Bromwich Albion on December 26, but there is little time to dwell on the setbacks; Liverpool visit Etihad Stadium tonight.

"We missed a big opportunity, a big chance to go three points up on [Manchester] United," the City manager said.

"I thought we threw three important points out of the window. It was important, but now it is finished and we can do nothing. But at the same time, when we arrive back in Manchester, we need to think positively for the next game and for the future.

"We play again quickly and we should have good concentration for the next game.

City have 45 points and 53 goals at the midpoint, but Mancini believes they need another 45 points if they are to win the league.

City were pushing for a late winner when they were caught on the counterattack, and the Sunderland substitute Ji Dong-won broke through in dramatic fashion to beat Joe Hart.

Mancini was alarmed at how vulnerable his side had seemed at the back throughout the game and wants improvement. "I don't know how many chances we had to score but we need to pay attention in situations where we concede three or four counterattacks," he said. "A top team can't concede situations like this. Maybe one, but not three or four."

The striker Luis Suarez is expected to return to Liverpool's squad after suspension. The Uruguay international served a one-match ban during a win over Newcastle.

Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, said his side will travel with no fear.

City's air of invincibility from the start of the season has begun to fray, after just one point and no goals from two matches.

Dalglish said: "They are a fantastic side but so are we, so we are not going to go there and be scared.

"It is all well and good saying they have loads of money but they have a good team.

"The money they have everyone else would love to have, but unfortunately they don't. We will go and play whichever 11 they put on the pitch and it doesn't matter how much they cost."

Midnight, AD Sports 3 & 5