'It was my fault'

Roberto Mancini has publically taken the blame for the atrocious showing that Manchester City put on at Liverpool last night, saying that it was his team selection and tactics which caused them to be given such a fearful hammering.

City lost 3-0 at Anfield, with goals coming from Andy Carroll and Dirk Kuyt, but the damage was done in the first 20 minutes, in which City floundered in midfield and allowed Liverpool to do more or less what they wanted with the football. With rumours that he is going to be sacked at the end of the season now growing, and City’s previously assured Champions League place under threat, Mancini looked to quell the flames by taking the blame.

‘We didn't play for the first 20 minutes when Liverpool played well but tonight I made a mistake,' said the Italian. 'It was my fault. We can do better. I am sorry for the fans. I am disappointed with myself. I made the mistake for this game not with the players, the players played 100%.

‘I made a mistake in the last two days, I know why. It is important I understand this for the next game. It was my mistake because we did not prepare very well. I made three changes, bringing in three fresh players, our focus was not good. Liverpool played fantastically in the first 20 minutes, we left a lot of space for them, and they were very aggressive at the start and we played very soft.

‘After 20 minutes we started to play but it was late. For this it is my fault, it is important for me to understand this.’

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