Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes Manchester United’s exit from the Champions League this week will further fuel the Red Devils desire to win the Premier League.
The 48-year-old Italian was of the opinion that City, who currently trail their neighbours by a hefty 12-point margin at the top of the table, will find it even more difficult to retain their league title, as Sir Alex Fergusson’s unit will now fully turn their focus towards their 20th title quest.
United were beaten 2-1 on Tuesday night at Old Trafford, after a second half red card to Nani allowed Real Madrid to score two goals in the space of three minutes to book their place in the quarterfinals.
And with United’s treble hopes dashed by defeat against Madrid, Mancini feels that his side’s chances of overcoming the 12-point gap have become even slimmer as United will now be fully focused on their domestic campaign.
He told reporters: "United will now concentrate all their strength to win the championship and it was hard enough for us before this game against Madrid.
“It was better for us that they stayed in the Champions League."
Ferguson lashed out at the referee over Nani’s controversial sending off at Old Trafford. Even the Los Blancos manager, Jose Mourinho, conceded after the game that his side were fortunate to go through.
And Mancini feels that Ferguson's reaction to the decision was understandable. The Etihad Stadium chief said that Nani’s challenge did not even merit a yellow card.
Mancini added: "I can see why Ferguson was frustrated. It was the same thing that saw [Vincent] Kompany sent off against Manchester United in the FA Cup last year.
“This was a big mistake and for me Nani did not deserve a yellow card. Even in Italy it would be nothing because Nani tried to take the ball."
City and United both turn their attentions to FA Cup ties this weekend. The Red Devils host holders Chelsea on Sunday, while Mancini’s men will go head-to-head against Barnsley at the Etihad Stadium tonight.
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