Roberto Mancini explains how to beat Manchester City

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Few managers know more about the current Manchester City squad than Roberto Mancini, and the club's former boss has backed a veteran star to harm his old side.

The Italian boss believes Roma legend Francesco Totti can be a thorn in City's side having adapted his game as he's got older.

Now 38, Totti is a true one-club man and remains a key part of a Roma side who have impressed since Rudi Garci took charge last summer.

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Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of tonight's Champions League, Mancini explained how last season's Serie A runners up can overcome the reigning Premier League champions.

Attacking force

Despite his age, Totti will likely start at the Etihad Stadium, and Mancini pointed to his seemingly everlasting class as a danger for City, he said: "Francesco Totti turned 38 at the weekend but is still important because, with the class he has, he knows how to move around the field. He runs less, but he makes the ball run."

Totti could be joined in attack by Mattia Destro; the in-form Italian striker who was linked with a move to Chelsea over the summer.

Destro scored a stunning goal in Roma's 2-0 victory at the weekend, but despite his talent Mancini believes he still has a lot to learn.

"Mattia Destro scored a spectacular goal at the weekend. He has quality. I remember him at Inter. His technical ability is not under discussion, but he must grow.

"Young people often think when success comes on the field that their growth has finished. That is not so. Talent must be trained every day," he explained.

How to beat City

Since the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini, the club have adopt a style of play which Mancini believes sets them apart from other Premier League teams, although that could benefit Roma.

Mancini said: "City practise a different style of football to the others in England - infinite passes, the ball on the ground, the ability to switch between patterns of attack in the middle or on the wings.

"City are not the Manchester United of a few years ago, all running and competitiveness. This could be an advantage for Roma."


Having narrowly lost to Bayern Munich in their opening fixture, City are in need of a win and that could see them attack Roma from the start.

That could give the Italians a chance to counter-attack, and Mancini highlighted the man to hurt City on the break: "I have seen Juan Iturbe has been called up to the squad — he can create problems. In the counter-attack he can be devastating.

"The key is a fast start and to take advantage of the opportunities they offer. Roma have to be careful in defence, concentrate for 90 minutes and be clinical in attack," he added.

City's star

Asked who Roma should fear most, Mancini was quick to answer, although he reserved praise for multiple stars, saying: "Yaya Toure. The midfielder is a force of nature who City are seeing the best of. Then there is the class of David Silva, the goalscoring instinct of Sergio Aguero and the running of Pablo Zabaleta."

Such is Toure's ability, Mancini even earmarked who he would use to try and nullify the Ivorian's threat, he said: "Seydou Keita could mark Yaya Toure. Keita is a player I have always admired. At nearly 35, he belongs to the category of players who are incomprehensibly undervalued."

City fans may question why their former boss has been so vocal ahead of the game, given the fact his time in charge at the Etihad resulted in consecutive group stage elimination from the Champions League.

Pablo Zabaleta
Sergio Aguero
Gnegneri Toure Yaya
Manchester City
AS Roma

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