Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini assailed his strikers for being too “soft” in front of goal during City’s 1-0 loss away to Sunderland, a result which left City seven points behind leader Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. Mancini insisted his players only had themselves to blame after not making the most of their chances.
"We had a lot of chances, we played well, but we didn't score," the Italian said. "This is our problem, we don't score. We don't score enough goals to win the game. Last year, we scored one, two, three goals every game. Now when we have chances, we are too soft and this is not good. We are too soft in attack, too soft when we have chances, too soft when we shoot."
Mancini noted that Sunderland has been “really lucky” at home to City during the last three encounters at the Stadium of Light, which have all ended 1-0 in the Black Cats favor. "I think [Sunderland is] really lucky against us at home because you can't create every time 15, 20 chances like this year, last year, two years ago and in the end, you lose the game," he said.
Sunderland coach Martin O’Neill responded by dismissing Mancini’s comments and hailing his players for a “terrific” performance. "Honestly, I am really not particularly bothered, I am genuinely not bothered about what Roberto Mancini would say about the team," O’Neill said. "I have seen it before with other managers. I'm not bothered. I thought we were terrific today."