MANCHESTER: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has warned his Premier League title-chasers to beware the threat of in-form Newcastle when they travel to the north-east side on Sunday.
City’s 1-0 win over reigning champions and title rivals Manchester United in a tense derby at Eastlands on Monday saw them go top of the table on goal difference from their cross-town foes with two games remaining. But Newcastle, pushing for a Champions League place, once more demonstrated their quality by winning 2-0 away to Chelsea on Wednesday. Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse scored twice to make it 13 goals in 12 games for the Magpies since his January transfer window move from German club Freiburg.
“Newcastle will be our hardest game, harder than United,” said Mancini. “It is strange but it is like this. They’ve had a fantastic season and are playing to get into the Champions League.”
Magpies can stall City title charge: Ferguson
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insisted Newcastle can still provide another dramatic twist in the Premier League title race.
“They (City) have got to win at Newcastle, that’s the challenge for them,” said Ferguson.
“Newcastle, as we know, is a very difficult place to go to and they’re playing well. They lost incredibly to Wigan by four goals and then galvanised themselves to go and win 2-0 at Chelsea. As everyone knows, winning at Chelsea is a very difficult job. We haven’t done it for ten years so their form is good and it will not be an easy game.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2012.