Mancini hails City strike force

Roberto Mancini praised the quality of his strikers following Manchester City’s emphatic 5-0 defeat of Notts County in the FA Cup on Sunday.

City’s replay at the Eastlands had little in common with their 1-1 stalemate in the original tie, with Patrick Vieira scoring a brace and Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards all getting on the scoresheet to embarrass the League One side.

Mancini, who is looking to the FA Cup to end City’s 35-year trophy drought as the Premier League title slips further from reach, was understandably delighted by the victory, though he conceded his men were tired following their Europa League trip to Greece on Tuesday.

“In the first half an hour Notts County played very well,” Mancini said.

“We started the game so slowly because when you play every three days it is difficult to play 100 percent in every game.”

“But after we scored it changed the game. We had more chances in the second half and it was important we scored those goals.”

Vieira doubled his season tally with two headers and was ably assisted by goal-machine Tevez and new signing Dzeko, who very nearly scored a second in second-half injury time.

“Patrick played well, he scored two goals and I am happy for him as I am for Dzeko, because it is important for strikers to score,” the City boss said.

“Dzeko had three or four chances to score, but I think Edin needs time as all players who play for the first time in England need time.”

Notts County boss and former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince was devastated by the ‘unjustified’ final score, which he felt could have been very different had Karl Hawley not hit the post prior to Vieira’s opener.

“With a bit of luck we would have been 1-0 in front, and that’s what you need when you come to places like this,” Ince said.

“I’m very proud of the players, I thought they were awesome. I’m just disappointed because we worked on a lot of things over the past couple of days to stop City in the way they play, and I thought we dealt with them well in the first half.”

“I’ve spoken to (City’s) staff and players and they’ve said it’s never 5-0, it doesn’t justify how well we played as a team.”