• Premier League

Mancini hopeful over Kompany

ESPN staff
November 23, 2012
Vincent Kompany picked up a knee injury in midweek © PA Photos

Roberto Mancini hopes Vincent Kompany can make a rapid recovery from a knee injury to captain Manchester City at Chelsea on Sunday.

The Belgian defender left the Etihad Stadium on crutches after Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid.

If Kompany cannot play against Chelsea, Mancini may have to partner Matija Nastasic and Joleon Lescott in the centre of defence against the European champions.

But Mancini refused to rule the centre-back out of the game at Stamford Bridge, where City suffered their first league defeat of last season.

"We need to wait until Saturday," he said. "I hope we can recover him for Sunday because Vinnie is strong."

And the City manager hopes for a double defensive boost with Gael Clichy, who missed the match against Real with an ankle problem, in line to return at left-back. "Clichy can play," Mancini added.

Without Clichy, Mancini started with a back three against the Spanish champions, with Aleksandar Kolarov at left wing-back, before deploying Pablo Zabaleta at left-back in a 4-4-2 formation after a tactical change.

But Mancini denied that City went behind because of his fondness for a 3-5-2 formation, attributing Karim Benzema's goal to individual errors.

"You talk always about three, about four [at the back]," he said. "There is no change. When we concede one goal on Wednesday, we were five against two in the box. It is one individual mistake. You cannot concede a goal when you are five against two in the box. We need to work on this."

Mancini does not believe City's inability to beat Real cost them a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, arguing the damage had been done before then.

City have only taken three points from their five group matches and Mancini added: "It was really difficult to go to the next stage. We did our mistakes before this game, not in this game."

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