Midfielder James Milner has promised Manchester City will fight on regardless of whether the English Premier League is out of reach or not.
City gave a reminder of their champion quality by claiming a deserved 2-1 success in Monday night’s derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
It may have come too late to reignite the title race, with United still leading the table by 12 points with seven games remaining, but Milner does not see reason to give up.
With the FA Cup still to play for, City do not want to slow their momentum in the run-in. Goalscorer Milner told City TV: “Maybe the title is a bit out of reach now, but that changes nothing to us — whether it is or it isn’t. It is still mathematically possible.
“All our concentration is on winning every game from now until the end of the season. Hopefully that will get us at least one trophy.”
Milner put City ahead with a deflected strike from the edge of the box ahead after Gareth Barry had robbed Ryan Giggs and fed inside to Samir Nasri early in the second half.
United responded as Phil Jones forced the ball in off Vincent Kompany from a Robin van Persie free-kick but substitute Sergio Aguero settled the contest with a sublime individual effort on 78 minutes.
Milner said: “He is not bad is he? He is so sharp when you get him in around the box, him and Carlos (Tevez) together up front.
“He is so sharp around the box. His composure and his finish at the end was superb. It gave us a deserved win.”
The manner of City’s performance left many to wonder how they had fallen so far behind United prior to the game.
That is certain to be analysed in the months ahead but City at least felt they had made a point, and manager Roberto Mancini is convinced the title can be regained next year.
The Italian said: “The championship is finished but we deserved to win because we played better, we played good football. We didn’t take any risk.
“We know that we can win the title next year. This year we did some mistakes but we can do nothing now. The season is gone.
“It is important we continue to win because we have another seven games but it does not change anything for the future.
“We need to continue to play like this for next season. We have two or three months where we can work well, where we can improve our team. I think we showed here we can’t be 15 points behind.” —