Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini criticised his side’s lack of fight after they were lucky to draw 1-1 against Borussia Dortmund.
City were outplayed for much of their Champions League match against the German title-holders at the Etihad Stadium, but managed to salvage a point after a fortuitous late penalty from Mario Balotelli cancelled out Marco Reus’ opener.
The result leaves the English champions with just one point from their opening two fixtures in Group D – the competition’s undisputed ‘Group of Death’ – trailing Real Madrid (six points) and Dortmund (four).
“We didn’t play well because Borussia Dortmund played better than us. I think probably in this moment they are a better team than us,” Mancini said on Wednesday.
“If we want to play at the top level in the Champions League, we need to run more than tonight.
“We need to run, fight for every ball. It is not enough to have a good pass sometimes in the Champions League.
“The Champions League is another situation, totally different from the championship, for every team. And we need to fight. We need to run. It is not enough to have just a good quality.”
After failing to qualify for the knockout stages in their Champions League debut last season, City again face an uphill task this year and Mancini believes the lack of experience in Europe’s premier competition may have played a part against Dortmund.
“I knew before the game that it is difficult because Borussia Dortmund used to play Champions League every year, is more experienced than us,” he said.
“But we have good players, we can play like they did this evening.”
Dortmund manager Juergen Klopp was annoyed not to have taken the three points, but said his side has taken a ‘big step forward’.
“I am a little bit annoyed about this result, even though City deserved a draw as well. You cannot keep out the incredible talent of Manchester City for 90 minutes,” he said.
“We had them pinned down, so of course you’d like to take the three points in that case. We had countless chances, despite being the away team.
“However, we can build on this performance, as we were very disciplined tactically. It was a big step forward for us.”
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