Roberto Mancini revealed his bewilderment at Samir Nasri’s red card but expressed his delight with the team's character in the 4-3 win at Norwich.
City looked to be in cruise control until the Frenchman was dismissed after 43 minutes but the champions held on for all three points in a topsy-turvy 4-3 win at Carrow Road – much to their manager’s delight.
“For me I think that we played fantastic football for 25 minutes and we deserved to score three or four goals,” said Mancini.
“After the sending off for Samir Nasri, with 10 men it was difficult, we continued to play but I don’t know what he got the red card for – I don’t know what the linesman saw.
“The linesman was very close but I don’t know, we saw the video – both players touch each other’s heads, it was nothing.
“I don’t know if they’ve changed the rules in the last three or four months, I don’t understand what I just saw, I don’t know either why it’s possible for a goalkeeper to touch the ball with his hand when it came off his own defender - I’ve seen some incredible things in this match."
After the Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland, the City chief called on his strikers to be more clinical and they answered in comprehensive style with Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko on the scoresheet.
“Edin did very well today, he scored two or three goals,” Mancini declared, “clearly if the strikers score, it’s easy.
“We decided to play Edin in the last three days because now we play three or four games in 10 days, we need all of our players to be fresh.
“We played very well against Sunderland too, but today we scored and that was the difference."
Manchester United’s win at home to West Brom means that the gap between the Manchester clubs remains seven points – not that Roberto is interested in studying league tables at this early stage.
“It’s not important to look at the table because it’s not final but we need only to work, to win and then maybe we’ll look again at the table in February,” he said.
“With ten players it’s difficult, Norwich are a good team but we showed we are there for the title.
“We fight for every game, the guys were fantastic.”