Skip to main content

Mancini furious as City defeat gives United 15-point lead

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini reacts during Saturday's costly 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini reacts during Saturday's costly 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
  • Roberto Mancini snubs media after Manchester City's 2-0 defeat at 10-man Everton
  • Shock loss allows Manchester United to move 15 points clear with nine games to go
  • Mancini was angry after controversial decision denied City a late penalty
  • Wayne Rooney scores only goal as United beat second-bottom Reading

(CNN) -- Alex Ferguson was too angry to talk to the press after Manchester United's Champions League exit, and Roberto Mancini was feeling very much the same way after a shock defeat surely ended his side's English title defense on Saturday.

Manchester City crashed 2-0 at Everton, which allowed United to march 15 points clear with just nine games to play following a functional 1-0 win over second-bottom Reading.

Mancini's ire was raised not only by a controversial refereeing decision late in the match -- mirroring Ferguson's frustration after Nani's red card against Real Madrid -- but also by his team's capitulation against a side thrashed by struggling Wigan last time out in the FA Cup.

Everton even had Steven Pienaar sent off with half an hour to play, but the key moment came when Marouane Fellaini's handball inside the area was penalized with a freekick outside of it as City trailed 1-0 with four minutes left.

"He is a bit angry, as you can imagine," Mancini's assistant David Platt said after the match.

Becker: Ronaldo the tennis ace?
Is there a crisis in English football?
Join the CNN Football Club

"He is just taking stock of the situation and calming down. He doesn't want to come out here and say anything that might get him in trouble."

Read: Soccer violence - Referees under siege

Platt later told City's website: "From where I was down on the touchline I didn't know if it was inside or not, but we quickly had a message come through to us that it was inside -- having now seen it myself, it was well inside the box, but it's not gone for us.

"But even then we probably created enough decent chances to get something out of the game."

Everton also had an appeal for a penalty turned down when Fellaini fell, and Kevin Mirallas had an effort ruled out for offside.

Even so, goals from midfielder Leon Osman and substitute Nikica Jelavic kept David Moyes' team in sixth place, three points ahead of city rivals Liverpool with a game in hand as the club's manager celebrated 11 years in charge.

More importantly in terms of the Premier League title race, it left United in pole position to claim a record-extending 20th English crown at the expense of their bitter rivals.

Read: Arsenal out of Europe despite victory

Ferguson made eight changes following last weekend's FA Cup draw with Chelsea, but it was two of the players who retained their places that made the difference against managerless Reading.

Center-back Rio Ferdinand charged upfield and directed the ball towards Wayne Rooney, who teed the ball up and then saw his volley balloon over goalkeeper Stuart Taylor after taking a big deflection.

That 21st-minute effort -- Rooney's 12th goal in the league this season and 16th overall -- was enough to see off a visiting team which had sacked manager Brian McDermott last Monday.

Ferdinand has been called up into the England squad for the first time since 2011, and Ferguson confirmed that the 34-year-old would be available for this month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro despite earlier expressing fears about his fitness.

Didi Hamann on beating AC Milan
Wenger: A good business man?
Will Mourinho replace Ferguson?

Ferdinand was omitted by Roy Hodgson for Euro 2012 as the coach cited "footballing reasons" -- though it was widely reported that the United defender missed out due to the fallout from his younger brother Anton's racism case against John Terry, who was selected for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

"It wasn't a great performance but where we are now is not down to today, but the last six months," Ferguson said.

"The team has shown great consistency and played a lot of great football. Our goal difference is big over City now -- 13 goals.

"The problem I've got is a lot of players are away on international duty and play two games. They come back and then we've got a lunchtime game against Sunderland on Saturday (March 30) and then it's lunchtime again against Chelsea on the Monday. We have a squad to use it and that's what we did today."

Fifth-placed Arsenal bounced back from the club's midweek Champions League exit with a 2-0 win at Swansea.

Left-back Nacho Monreal scored his first goal since leaving Spanish side Malaga on January's transfer deadline day, and Ivory Coast forward Gervinho also netted as Arsene Wenger's team moved to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea -- who host London rivals West Ham on Sunday.

Seventh-placed Liverpool crashed 3-1 at Southampton, who moved seven points clear of the relegation zone.

West Brom could have climbed above Brendan Rodgers' former European champions, but drew 0-0 at midtable Stoke.

Aston Villa won for the second match in a row to establish a six-point buffer over the teams in the relegation zone, beating bottom club Queens Park Rangers 3-2.

In Sunday's other matches, third-placed Tottenham will look to bounce back from successive defeats against Liverpool and Inter Milan in the London derby at home to Fulham.

Third-bottom Wigan host Newcastle, while Sunderland will seek to halt a slide down the table at home to 14th-placed Norwich.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.