City send title warning to rivals

It was as if Roberto Mancini had borrowed a line straight out of the Sir Alex Ferguson book of gamesmanship.

“United start as favourites this year,” the City manager said last week.

“We are maybe in second, third or fourth position. When you win something it is important to improve.”

No-one bought it at the time but Mancini’s claims looked even more ludicrous during a 12-minute period at Villa Park on Sunday when City cut 10-man Chelsea to ribbons and scored three scintillating goals that ultimately settled the Community Shield.

The Premier League champions may still be some way short of where Mancini wants them to be, but as the new season approaches it is clear they are still very much the force to be reckoned with.

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