Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini concedes title race is over

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has conceded the Premier League title race is over.

Manchester United hold a 15-point lead over the neighbours with nine matches remaining, but, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side playing in the Saturday lunchtime game, they could be 18 clear by the time City face Newcastle.

While City overturned an eight-point deficit last season, they would need United to lose five of their remaining matches to have any hope of retaining their title, something Mancini does not expect to happen.

“It’s over, but this doesn’t change anything because we should do our best from now to the end,” Mancini told his pre-match press conference.

“Every top team, when you can’t win a title, you should try to play well, try to win all the games, and we have the fa cup semi-final.

“We have Chelsea four points behind, Tottenham five points behind and we play another nine games. For this reason it’s important to keep working hard.”