Southampton 3-1 Manchester City
Coach Mancini react after devastating loss:
a massive uphill battle if they are to bring the silverware back to the Etihad Stadium in May.
“I think that now it is very difficult,” conceded Mancini.
“I always used to be optimistic and I want to be in this moment, but it is difficult.
“Twelve points is a big gap if Manchester United win tomorrow. It will be hard to come back if we continue to play like this.”
With some key players missing for the trip to Saint Mary’s and skipper Vincent Kompany not yet fully recovered, it was never going to be an easy task on the south coast.
But, the Italian was adamant that his players simply should have done better.
“We didn’t play today. We had some players that didn’t play, it was not a good performance,” he said.
“Southampton played better than us, but we conceded two goals that a team like us can’t concede. I’ve never seen us concede goals in this way.
“The performance was really, really poor with many players – I think we played this game with two or three men.
“Three against eleven was very difficult; I am really disappointed with my players.”
Although eleven members of the City squad were on international duty mid-week, Mancini would not allow this to be used an excuse for his side’s below par showing.
“It’s not an excuse, but it is important because we had five or six players that only got back on Friday and we played on Saturday.
“It is really difficult when this happens, but in the end we played really bad.”