Mancini puts qualification hopes at 30%

Published: Nov 23, 2011, 13:00 IST | Agencies |

Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini put his team's chances of progressing to the Champions League knock-out rounds at just 30 percent following their 2-1 defeat at Napoli.

Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini put his team's chances of progressing to the Champions League knock-out rounds at just 30 percent following their 2-1 defeat at Napoli.

Edinson Cavani scored a brace for the hosts and Mario Balotelli replied for City but their European destiny is now out of the English Premier League leaders' hands.

City must beat Bayern Munich, who have already won the group, at home in two weeks to have any chance of going through but if Napoli win away to Villarreal, they will definitely be into the last 16.

"I would say Napoli have a 70 percent chance and we have a 30 percent chance," said Mancini.

"It's not down to us and that's the problem. If Villarreal play a normal match then they can get a result so it's not over.

"Our target in the Champions League was to go through to the second stage but now it depends on another team.

"In football everything can happen. If Villarreal play a serious match then there's no reason we can't go through to the second stage.

"It's important to play our game against Bayern but our life won't finish if we don't go through.

"We have three targets but sometimes it can happen to us that we lose."

Although Napoli hit the post through Marek Hamsik and wasted one-on-one chances from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Christian Maggio, Mancini still felt his side, who dominated possession, deserved more.

"I'm disappointed for the lads because I don't think we deserved to lose, we played a great game but conceded two goals we could have avoided."

City have won 11 and drawn one in 12 Premier League games but have found life much harder in Europe's premier club competition, losing away to Bayern and Napoli.

But Mancini denied his team is less effective in Europe than at home.

"There's no explanation, I don't want to find one," he said.

"We've got a strong team, we play good football, we always play to win but sometimes we lose.

"We can't always win, especially when we're playing against strong teams in the Champions League.

"I'm not upset or angry, these things make us grow and we can still progress.

"There's one more game but if we don't go forward, we'll be in the Europa League."

City's defence has been breached too easily in Europe but Mancini insisted it's not a weakness.

"I think we need to improve not only in defence. We conceded two goals we could have avoided and we could have scored every time we went for goal.

"For this reason we need to improve all the team, not only the defence.

"Napoli have their way of playing, they wait to hit you on the counter-attack.

"We gave up too much space but we controlled the game, we had the ball, we created chances."

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri insisted his team had already exceeded expectations.

"This is an exploit, we haven't qualified, we have to go to Villarreal and win to be sure," he said.

"It won't be easy, I hope Bayern will go to City with the right mentality and play like they need to qualify because it's not sure we'll beat Villarreal.

"In this group anything could happen.

"When you look at the group we've already done something extraordinary, if we go through it would be an exploit.

"It's historic because the people in Naples hadn't seen matches of this level for 21 years."

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