Mancini 'confident' City to retain title

Published Jul 31, 2012 12:47pm

Roberto Mancini is confident City can retain the EPL title. -Photo by AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini expressed confidence his champion squad will be able to retain their Barclays Premier League trophy after beating Malaysia in style.

Playing in humid conditions in Malaysia as part of City's Far East tour, Mancini's boys wrapped up their visit with an impressive 3-1 victory Monday over the Southeast Asian team.

The star of the game was Argentine striker Sergio Aguero who looked fresh and full of energy after a brief summer rest.

Aguero, who scored the goal that won City their Premier League trophy in May, opened the scoring on 17th minutes and created the other two goals for Carlos Tevez and Adam Johnson.

Aguero had the chance to put City one up in the ninth minute when he rounded the Malaysian defence only to see his shot hit the crossbar.

But he was not to be denied eight minutes later when he burst past three defenders before chipping the ball over Malaysian goalkeeper Mohamad Farizal Marlias.

A smiling Mancini was delighted with the performances of his players and Aguero in particular and said the tour reinforced his belief the team can go all the way in the coming season.

“We were confident two weeks ago and I'm even more confident today. Sergio played very well and his partnership with Carlos has continued from last season,” he said when asked about City's chances of retaining the Premiership title.

“They scored a goal each today which is good. Sergio also played in the wide position today but still produced the goods. Hopefully we can continue his good form in the coming season,” he added.

Meanwhile the City manager was quick to downplay injury concerns surrounding team captain Vincent Kompany, who had to cut short his Malaysian tour after picking up a knock earlier in the week.

“It's nothing serious. He had a scan and should be fit to play against Chelsea in the Charity Shield in two weeks' time,” Mancini said.

“I'm happy we didn't have any injuries today despite playing two matches in four days. It is difficult but the players are alright now,” he added.

Mancini described the tour as a “eye opener” for his team as he was able to try out several of his younger players.

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