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Swansea Defeat Proves City Lack Winning Mentality

Tuesday 13th March 2012
Forget the amount of money they have spent. Forget the style and flair they showed in tearing apart the likes of Aston Villa, Manchester United and Tottenham during the season. In losing to Welsh minnows Swansea on the weekend, Roberto Mancini's Manchester City side showed they lack the one thing that money can't buy. A winning mentality.

Try to imagine, for a second, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney needing to be separated in the face of Manchester United having endured an unsatisfactory first-half in the way Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli were at 0-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Try, if you can, to think of a moment during a title run-in when a Manchester United player publicly disrespected the coaching staff in the way Gareth Barry did when he was tactically substituted in the 37th minute against Swansea.

But perhaps the most telling sign of all was the reaction of Micah Richards when he thought he had equalised for City in the dying minutes. The right-back was correctly flagged offside by Sian Massey, but as Richards' header rippled in the back of the net, he did not check to see if she had raised her flag. Instead he sprinted towards City's fans fists clenched, teeth gritted and eyes wild with delirium as he thought he had salvaged a point for his side to keep them on top of the league.

Had that been Rooney who had levelled for United in a game of equal magnitude, he would likely not have celebrated at all. He would have grabbed the ball out of the net, sprinted up to the halfway line and placed it on the spot to urge Sir Alex Ferguson's men to push for all three points.

United's reputation for scoring in extra time does not come from nowhere and it is that record that sees them win title after title. City are by no means out of the race for top spot, especially as they host Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on April 30th in a fixture Mancini said "will decide who wins the Premier League."

But the reason that Champions are Champions is that they win the tough games in March when they haven't played well and they win the games they deserve to have lost. And on Sunday, at Swansea, Manchester City did not do that.
Jack Bezants

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