A hoarse Roberto Mancini praised his team after a dogged 0-0 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Though the Blues spent most of the game repelling the Gunners’ attack, the hosts eventually lost their momentum and City comfortably played out the last half-an-hour to earn a vital point.
“Arsenal played very well, especially in the first half when we were under pressure, but we were better in the second half,” said Mancini.
“This was our fourth game in ten days and it is very hard to play so many games so close together, so to take ten points from a possible twelve, is very good.”
With Chelsea and Tottenham losing, City have pulled further clear of the fourth and fifth placed teams, though the Blues’ boss felt injuries to key players restricted his side’s attacking options.
“We had three very important players missing today which didn’t help,” he said. “David Silva, Mario Balotelli and Aleksandar Kolarov are all very important to this team so that made our task more difficult.
We wanted to play better football, but Arsenal made it difficult for us and were maybe the better team for the first hour, but we defended really well and this was a game that was important not to lose
"If you can’t win the game, you make sure you don’t lose it. I think if we came here with a full strength team, it may have been a different game, but we are very happy with a point.”
Mancini added that he felt the late sending off of Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna was a poor decision by referee Mike Jones.
“I thought it was two yellow cards at best,” he said. It remains to be seen whether the Blues will appeal the Argentine’s dismissal.