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Mancini Friday press conference: Looking ahead to Arsenal

A quick round-up from Roberto Mancini's Friday press conference, where the focus from the press pack centred heavily on Mario Balotelli:

  • Mancini says he as frustrated at the last five minutes, but he will take away the positives from the game and is confident that his side will progress from the group.
  • With regards Joe Hart's comments, Mancini sought to play these down, even agreeing with the Hart's post-match comments.
  • Whilst conceding that he as upset, the disciplinary rumours about Mario Balotelli are untrue (he was forced to deny this on a number of occasions as well as questions about Balotelli's smoking), with Mancini saying the reason he was left out of the eighteen was tactical as the decision was made to start with Carlos Tevez as a lone striker.
  • Sergio Aguero is now fully fit and may have even played a part at the Bernabeu but for the injuries that forced his hand with the first couple of substitutions.
  • He conceded that the defence has started 'so-so' with some of the problems stemming from the shortened pre-season following Euro 2012, which was a factor in the surprise decision to omit Joleon Lescott from the starting line-up.
  • With Arsenal perhaps facing less pressure than usual, he fully expects them to compete for the title this season.