Roberto Mancini regretted City’s loss of control as they saw a two-goal lead overturned in the FA Community Shield.
Goals from Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko put the Blues ahead before half time, but Smalling and Nani struck early on after the break to level the score.
It was Nani who struck the killer blow deep into stoppage time, leading the Manager to ruefully reflect on how City let it slip.
He said, “I’m disappointed because in the dressing room at 45 minutes we were two goals up, but when you’re ahead like that you need to control the game.
“The big positive for me was the last 20 minutes of the first half, but in the second half United pushed back at us because they were down and we lost control of the game. You cannot allow that to happen.”
“As I said in the press conference before the game, United have a top squad and were the better team. But that does not mean we cannot win the title, we need to improve and complete our team, and find our best form.
“We need to understand why we lost this game, we played well and went two-nil up, but we need to have a strong mentality. When we play a strong side like United or when we are in the Champions League, we need to continue to keep playing football. We can’t go like we did in the second half today. It’s important that we understand this. We’re disappointed because we wanted to win this trophy, so we have to understand why we lost and improve.”
Sergio Aguero was on the bench but was not one of City’s three substitutes to appear, with Mancini feeling the striker is still short of time in training
“Aguero is not ready to play, he maybe could have played in the last 10 minutes but it was difficult because we needed tall players for set-pieces. Sergio needs to train more, he only finished three weeks ago and he needs to both train and recover. He does not need a pre-season like the other players but he needs to find his form.”