Date: 28th January 2010 at 8:45am
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He said it could have been six last September, now it could have been seven goals that the rags wracked up in the Carling Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg according to Sir Alex Ferguson…

But first up, a bitterly disappointed Roberto Mancini gives his side of the er, coin:

‘I am so disappointed because I thought we played well in the first half and into the second, but we had a spell where we allowed them two chances and we should have paid more attention.’

Mancio was of course referring to the inability of City’s young defence to successfully clear it’s lines when it counted.

‘If you allow a team like United chances like that, they have the players to hurt you. After we scored I thought we had a great chance to win, we played well and had another chance but then they hit us too late for us to do anything. I feel so sorry for the players, because they could not work any harder, but most of all I feel sorry for our fans. I wanted us to get to the final for them, and unfortunately that won’t happen now.’

Mancio is no mug however and he will know that forcing Taggart into fielding his strongest available side against City twice in a competition so long belittled by the rags is something of a victory in itself. The gap is closing:

‘We have to learn from this defeat and improve. It’s easy to improve when you win, but losing like this can teach a team things, so we must pick ourselves up. We have to work hard over the next few months, try to improve and get into the top four by the end of the season. That’s possible with these players, and we still have players to come back from injury, or Kolo to come back from Africa. I’m pleased with what the players I could choose from gave me in these two games. We’re still in the FA Cup and we have a chance to go to Wembley in that competition, which I would love to do for the fans.’

Now for Taggart The Bin Man (copyright Pretty Green) whose days at the ‘ManU’ controls won’t go beyond many more derbies. We’ll certainly miss his demented pearlers:

‘We missed a lot of chances. Edwin van der Sar made one marvellous save after half-time but we produced a marvellous performance in the second half. We could have scored six or seven.’

We’d spoken here beforehand of the need to absolutely contain united’s main scouser Wayne Rooney and The Blues failed to do that of which the slapped arse faced Scot said:

‘It was much better than Saturday (Rooney’s solo performance against Hull). I know he scored four goals but here his control leading the line and his link up play was fantastic. Overall it was a wonderful performance. World class.’

Meanwhile, as we had all toe curlingly dreaded, another Scot, Darren Fletcher revealed how City CEO Garry Cook’s berkish comments about what City were going to do next etc in a New York bar last week served to form part of the rags teamtalk:

‘There is a great rivalry between the two clubs and we know about everything that went on in the first leg. But it was important for us to go on the pitch and let our football do the talking. It’s easy to talk and whatnot, but you have to do it on the pitch and that’s what we did tonight.’

Finally as the latest violence spewed out of united’s supporters, the rags have revealed that they will ban for life the lowlifes who threw bottles and coins at Craig Bellamy as he was about to take a corner kick.

A spokesman confirmed: ‘Our security thinks they were identified and arrested.’

And so we move on. For now the rags have the bragging rights following The Blues 4th defeat of the season, but they should remind themselves that in the most open and exciting Premier League for a decade they must travel to Eastlands with four league games remaining.

City may yet have the last laugh in the 2009-2010 campaign.

VMC City Video Link: Mancio Pitchside Reaction at Old Trafford

VMC City Video Link: Javier Garrido Pitchside Reaction at Old Trafford

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