Mancini 'hopeful' of UCL passage

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is refusing to throw in the towel in the fight for qualification for the UEFA Champions League knock-out stage despite defeat by Napoli.

Edinson Cavani's double condemned City to their second defeat of the group stage, which leaves them a point behind the Serie A side with one game remaining.

City will have to beat group winners Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium next month and hope that whipping boys Villarreal can pick up their first points of the group when they host Napoli, which gives Mancini reason to believe the fight for the last-16 isn't over.

"Our target was to go into the second stage and [now] we are depending on other teams," Mancini said. "If Villarreal play a normal game they may still get a result.

"If they play a serious game we can still get to the second stage. But Napoli are the favourites and life doesn't finish if we don't get through.

"We have still got another match to play and if we don't qualify we will play in the Europa League. Everything is not finished - never say never."

Mario Balotelli's equaliser looked set to earn City a valuable point, leaving them in pole position to qualify from the group, however, Cavani's second half intervention leaving the club's UEFA Champions League hopes teetering.

"We didn't deserve to lose this game," he added. "After our equaliser we had two more chances to go 2-1 up. It is strange that we conceded this goal after 10 minutes.

"We had other chances to score. Their keeper was fantastic and saved three or four chances, but if you lose probably you have made mistakes. We conceded two stupid goals."

European News
Manchester City
UEFA Champions League

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