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Mancini Admits Title Is Improbable

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has conceded that the title race is all but over after his side suffered a costly defeat at the hands of Southampton on Saturday.

The Premier League champions went down 3-1 at St Mary’s which leaves them nine points behind Manchester United.

The Red Devils welcome Everton to Old Trafford today and have the chance of stretching their lead even further.

"I think now we have a 10% chance maybe. I don't think that we'll recover 12 points; it will be really difficult," said Mancini.

The Italian coach bemoaned his players lack of grit and heart as they went down to the Saints but said that the absence of Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic contributed to the poor performance.

I think this the worst game in the last two or three years,” he said. "We're missing Vinnie (Kompany), we're missing Nastasic, and we have some players who are not in form because they played really badly; without strength, without personality, and I'm disappointed with them."

Meanwhile Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was very impressed with his team’s performance in beating their wealthy opponents.

"It's an important moment in my career, training this team and beating Manchester City," Pochettino told reporters after the game.

"We tried to break their ranks and stop the connection they had between their players.

"We should have got something more from the matches against Wigan, Manchester United and Everton. Today we played well and got points we deserved."

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