Mancini plays perfect hand in Swans win
- 28 October 2012 08:39
- Posted by Mark Booth
Roberto Mancini won’t mind sitting down to breakfast and finding City off the back pages this morning but if he ventures inside the newspapers he'll find some kind words.
A relatively solid home win against Swansea is hardly the stuff of tabloid dynamite, so while the critics aren’t toasting a vintage City performance, the fire and brimstone of mid-week’s headlines seems to be in the past.
City's appointment of Txiki Begiristain as Director of Football and Brian Marwood's new CFA role is the major breaking story overnight but elsewhere, the media have been picking over the Swansea win.
Paul Wilson reported for the Guardian and he pointed to the introduction of Mario Balotelli as a turning point in a scrappy game.
“Mancini sent on Mario Balotelli for the second half, perhaps recognising that something was needed to enliven the proceedings, and with three at the front Manchester City quickly began to look more like their old selves,” wrote Wilson.
“Agüero shot too high as the second half opened, and Balotelli was unable to reach a cross from the right from Samir Nasri a couple of minutes later before appearing to be hampered by Flores as he attempted to reach another from Richards, but at least these efforts brought the crowd to its feet and turned up the background noise.”
The Daily Mail also handed Mancini a compliment for his tactical nous.
“Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini ended a torrid week by making an important tactical switch - and this time it worked out to win the longest match in Premier League history,” their report reads.
“Having been pilloried for his tactics in midweek, the Italian made all the right calls at half-time and City emerged from 103 minutes of play - caused by serious injuries to Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm and City's England defender Micah Richards - still unbeaten and just one point behind leaders Chelsea.”
Gareth Barry spoke to ESPN shortly after the game and he admitted that it was a game City were just glad to tick off with three points in the bag.
"It was a massive three points. Three games in seven days is always tough," he said.
"It wasn't a great performance but the manager said at half-time to stay calm and we'd get a goal and Carlos came up with the goods."
Finally, Metro.co.uk are reporting that AC Milan want to reunite Mario Balotelli with Nigel de Jong at the San Siro and are prepared to sell in order to bring him back to Italy.
“Corriere dello Sport has reported that three players have been identified by club bosses as among those who can make way for Balotelli,” an unnamed journalist writes.
“Kevin Prince-Boateng, Alexandre Pato and Robinho are the men that AC will attempt to get off their books before placing an offer for the unpredictable City hitman.”
Don’t forget that mcfc.co.uk is the only place to read confirmed transfer stories when the window re-opens in January.