Manchester City's Champions League hopes for next season took a big blow last night when they were comprehensively outplayed by Liverpool at Anfield. A Dirk Kuyt strike sandwiched in between two goals from Andy Carroll gave The Reds a dominant 3-0 win to boost their own faint hopes of a top four finish. In the post-match press conference Roberto Mancini took entire responsibility for the result and admitted that he had made mistakes. If Man City were to end the season trophyless and out of the top four in the league then it would most certainly be a case of one mistake too many for the City boss.
City's collective spirit and group moral has frequently been called into question this season, with constant revelations surfacing about player tantrums and training ground squabbles. The next month will be a pivotal time in both City's season and Mancini's future with the club. The owners of the club have made it clear that they expect big things after splashing out shed loads of money for top players. The pressure is building on Mancini by the day and he is now 5/4 with Sky Bet not to be in charge at the start of the 2011/2012 season.
City face their local rivals Manchester United on Saturday at Wembley Stadium in what is sure to be an explosive and fiercely competitive FA Cup semi-final. Both teams will have to do without their star players as Wayne Rooney is banned for United and Carlos Tevez is a serious doubt for City after picking up a hamstring injury in last night's dismal defeat to Liverpool. Whilst United are still in contention for three trophies, the FA Cup is City's only remaining opportunity to bring silverware back to Eastlands this season. Man Utd are the favourites to reach the final and Sky Bet have them at 5/4 to progress, with City available at 9/4 and a draw 23/10.
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