Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists the Barclays Premier League title race is not over but admits his side may have to win all their games to retain their crown.
A 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool was secured thanks to Sergio Aguero’s angled strike 12 minutes from time after Daniel Sturridge, against his former club, and Steven Gerrard had turned things around after Edin Dzeko’s opener.
However, City have dropped further behind leaders Manchester United and the gap is now nine points but Mancini said that was far from insurmountable.
“Absolutely not,” was the Italian’s response when asked whether the championship was over.
“Two years ago Chelsea were nine points behind and when they went to play at Old Trafford two games from the end (of the season) they were only two points behind.
“Two games and the championship is reopened. I don’t think this is finished but probably now we have to win all the games but if not then 11 or 12 games.
“But in football this can happen sometimes.
“Last year we recovered eight points in six games so I don’t know why it can’t happen this year.
“Today we didn’t play like we had in the last month but we are confident.”
Dzeko’s close-range strike in the 23rd minute was the most routine goal of the afternoon as Sturridge’s equaliser, his fourth in six matches since his £12million move from Chelsea, was tinged with controversy.
Mancini felt Daniel Agger should have been punished for a foul on Dzeko but referee Anthony Taylor played on and despite the boos Liverpool declined to put the ball out of play with the City striker laid on the turf and scored several seconds later.
“Liverpool played better than us in the first half but I am disappointed for the first goal,” added the Italian.
“If Vinny (City’s captain Vincent Kompany) did that foul it would probably be a red card. Instead the referee didn’t say anything.
“But in the end the result was correct. I am disappointed because I think we didn’t played well.”
Sturridge - who netted with a fierce drive in the 29th minute, six minutes after City’s opener - said he and his team-mates had been told by referee Anthony Taylor to continue playing when Dzeko went down.
“From our viewpoint, the referee said to play on - he said not to kick the ball out,” the Liverpool forward said.
“It is not our job to kick the ball out. If the referee says to kick it out we will do that.”