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City blow title chances at home

Manchester City’s title chances appeared to crumble when they dropped another 2 points at home to Sunderland. Trailing 3-1 with 5 minutes to go, City managed to level the match at 3-3, but couldn’t come up with a winner. Manchester United now have a clear advantage in the Premier League.

"We are still in the title race," manager Roberto Mancini insisted, "because 8 games is enough for United to do 2 draws. But we needed to win this match and we didn't have a good performance."

City have problems with their expensive forwards. Carlos Tevez has just returned to the squad after spending most of the season sulking in Argentina. Sergio Agüero is missing with a bizarre foot injury sustained when he reacted badly to a treatment spray. Mancini admits that he doesn’t trust Mario Balotelli, who scored twice against Sunderland, but also got into a heated dispute with his teammmates over the taking of a free-kick.

"It can happen", Mancini said, while making it clear that his patience with Balotelli was almost exchausted. "This is the last time. If we had Sergio Agüero we would have won. Mario didn't play well. In a game like this, the strikers need to be the difference – not just in the last 2 or 3 minutes."

City look a shambles and their title campaign appears to be falling apart. They now have to rely on Manchester United making mistakes in the run-in, and United have too much experience for that to be likely.

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