In a dressing room tirade, Mancini is said to have torn into Joe Hart saying,
“It’s your fault”
for Robin van Persie’s stoppage time gaol from a free kick.
Talking to the press later, Mancini did not hold back on his criticism of Samir Nasri, who hid behind Dzeko in the wall and deflected the ball past Joe Hart for the winning goal.
“It was a dangerous free-kick,” said Mancini. “I don’t know why (Tevez left the wall), but we made a mistake there.
“In the last free-kick, we put only three players there,” he said. “Were there three? We had two and a half. We didn’t cover very well.””
Edin Dzeko and Gareth Barry, the two of the ‘two-and-a-half’, stood firm, but it is the image of Nasri’s positioning that will be seared long into the memory of City fans.
As the ball leaves Van Persie’s foot, Nasri is already tucking himself behind Dzeko. By the time the ball is level with the wall, or to be precise, in the exact position where Nasri should have been standing , he is hiding behind Dzeko. His eyes are closed, his back is now facing Van Persie and he sticks out his left leg (it should have at least been his right) in a token attempt to block the shot. It’s as if he just doesn’t care.
Horrible defending by Nasri, who has never been known as a team first kind of player to begin with and I wonder if we will see him on the City bench as punishment for City’s upcoming matches?