Roberto Mancini believes Carlos Tevez can play a crucial role in Manchester City's pursuit of the Premier League title after completing his return from the wilderness on Wednesday night.

Tevez had not played for City since September last year having been suspended and fined after refusing to warm-up in a Champions League encounter against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

But, having failed to engineer a move away from the Etihad Stadium during the January transfer window, Tevez returned to the club last month and came off the bench against Chelsea last night.

The Argentine played key part in City's eventual 2-1 victory - assisting Samir Nasri for the winner with only five minutes left on the clock.

City are now one point behind leaders Manchester United with nine games remaining, and Mancini feels the return of Tevez could give them the fillip they need in the final run in.

"In 10 days or two weeks Carlos will be fitter and in better form and it will be important for us," Mancini told his post match press conference.

"He is maybe not 100% but he knows football and it was an important, incredible assist for Samir's goal.

"When he plays he knows where he should take the ball. He is an important player but he maybe needs another two or three weeks.

"I spoke to Carlos after the game and he was happy, like the other players, but I have been speaking to him every day for the last month and it is normal."

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Manchester City
Carlos Tevez
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