Mancini wants do­mes­tic & Euro ti­tles FC PORTO v MANCH­ESTER CITY Thurs­day, ITV1, 8pm

Midweek Sport - - SPORTS -

ROBERTO MANCINI has vowed that Man City are go­ing all-out for Europa League glory – de­spite their ti­tle push.

The Blues are in the run­ning for a first league ti­tle since 1968, sit­ting two points clear of ri­vals Man United.

They were dumped out of their first ever Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign at the group stage af­ter fail­ing against Napoli.

Mancini is un­der pres­sure to de­liver the Premier League ti­tle and his squad is so stretched that he is even set to re­call AWOL Argie front­man Car­los Tevez.


But Yaya and Kolo Toure will fly di­rect to Por­tu­gal to link up with the squad af­ter the heartbreak of los­ing the African Na­tions Cup.

And Ital­ian bad boy Mario Balotelli is also set to re­turn from a four-match do­mes­tic ban.

As long as Mancini is able to avoid in­juries, he is adamant that City are gun­ning for the Europa League final in Bucharest in May.

He said: “We want to go to the final. It will be dif­fi­cult be­cause they are a top squad, but we want to go.

“This game against Porto will be im­por­tant be­cause they are a good team.

“For this rea­son it will be im­por­tant to have all the play­ers avail­able with­out in­juries be­cause we can change some play­ers but we want to do the best we can.”

Mancini has or­dered his stars to build up a sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tage by the time they host United in the third-last Premier League game of the cam­paign.

City have led from the front all sea­son but Mancini is des­per­ate to build up a cush­ion and get the job done early.

He added: “If you are there and fight­ing un­til the last game against United or Tot­ten­ham, this can hap­pen, why not? But we know that ev­ery­thing de­pends on us.”

Cen­tre-half Joleon Lescott is hop­ing the Toure broth­ers will be swept up in the over­flow­ing con­fi­dence that is sur­round­ing City.

The duo could fea­ture in Mancini’s squad in Por­tu­gal on Thurs­day af­ter more than a month away with the Ivory Coast.

Mancini ad­mits that Yaya will be knack­ered, while Kolo missed a spot-kick in the shootout de­feat by Zam­bia in Sun­day’s final.

But Lescott is sure that high-fly­ing City can get them back on track.

He said: “Con­fi­dence is so high it’s a joke, but ob­vi­ously we’ve got big games com­ing up.

“It’s im­por­tant not to get com­pla­cent and ar­ro­gant with the con­fi­dence.

“Hope­fully they will come back with plenty of con­fi­dence from the Ivory Coast.” vest, but Liver­pool han­dled it badly and paid the price.

A sorry, an ad­mis­sion of – at least – a mis­un­der­stand­ing early on could have made a big dif­fer­ence.

In­stead, the Reds sent the Liver­bird fly­ing with a big “f*** you” trail­ing from its tail.

Satur­day was the chance to start build­ing bridges. To win back some re­spect. To show some class.

Suarez told the club he’d shake Pa­trice Evra’s hand. Liver­pool passed on the mes­sage and waited for their em­ployee to com­ply.

Then Suarez de­cided he was big­ger than Liver­pool Foot­ball Club and acted like a kid de­nied a gob­stop­per in a sweet­shop. In not shak­ing Evra’s hand he gave the bird to Dal­glish and bared his arse to the Liver­pool sup­port in the blink of an eye.

Phone-num­ber wages and hero worship through­out a sorry saga that be­gan with the Uruguayan ref­er­enc­ing skin colour on an English footy pitch are clearly not enough for Luis. veryone con­nected with Liver­pool has re­ceived more flak than a tank for their stance on Suarez, and it’s no sur­prise. They planted the mines and pressed the plunger them­selves with a gaffe-packed strat­egy that should some­one ever film a

DVD will surely fea­ture in the open­ing cred­its.

Suarez could have welded some me­tal with a split-sec­ond press of the flesh. In­stead, he loaded a rocket launcher, pointed it at An­field and pressed fire.

And Liver­pool is now public en­emy num­ber one… again.

Now club spon­sors are get­ting jit­tery and ab­sen­tee Amer­i­can own­ers have wo­ken from their State­side slum­ber.

Ian Ayre, the Liver­pool MD, has also jolted into ac­tion.

Sor­rys have been scat­ter­gunned about, but the horse­teeth has bolted.

Now it’s up to Suarez to rein it in. No more scowls or sulks. No more hair pulling or ver­bals.

He owes Liver­pool big time and must now do his talk­ing with the bits of his body that Dal­glish paid all that money for – his feet.

KEY MAN: Mancini

could wel­come back Yaya Toure

SHAKE: See Luis, it isn’t that

f***ing hard!

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