Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has admitted that his side need to win all of their remaining 10 fixtures to have any chance of retaining their Premier League title.
Even after Monday’s crucial narrow 1-0 win over strugglers Aston Villa, the blue half of Manchester are still 12 points behind their red rivals.
Carlos Tevez capitalised on a defensive mistake from Ciaran Clark in injury-time in the first-half to give City a vitally important three points.
Despite accepting that United appear the overwhelming favourites for the title, Mancini is refusing to give up the fight.
"It is difficult because we have 30 points to play for and we need to try to win," he told reporters after the game.
"At the end, we will see what happens. In football everything can happen right up to the last second.
"We probably need to win all 10 matches that are left. We need to win all the matches.
"If they (United) lose three or four or five games..... it is difficult because they are too strong for this.
"When you have to win always, it is difficult to win every game. But last year we did this. Why can't we do it this year?"
City’s relief at keeping their slim title hopes alive were softened with another injury setback to midfielder Jack Rodwell.
Dogged by injury over the past 12 months, Rodwell, whose £15 million switch to the Etihad Stadium in the summer has been severely hampered through these injuries, was dealt a further blow as he limped off mid-way through the first half with a reoccurrence of a hamstring problem.
Feeling sympathetic for his young midfielder, Mancini said: "We are very sorry for Jack, because he is a good guy, a good player, but he is unlucky. It is his hamstring.
"I think it is impossible to resolve his problem after six or seven months because he's had this problem for five or six years and we need maybe more time.
"How long will he be out? Maybe he will be back after the international break, three or four weeks. It is the same injury.
"I am very sorry because he is a young player. He needs to improve but he has played very well against Chelsea and was playing very well tonight."
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