Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insisted they played as well in the win against Newcastle United as they did in the derby defeat to Manchester United, but the score was the only difference.
The Blues, two goals up before half-time following Sergio Aguero’s tap-in and a Javi Garcia header, wrapped up the win with Yaya Toure’s 78th minute strike after Demba Ba clawed one back.
While City missed a host of chances, Mancini praised his team’s performance at St James’ Park – comparing it to the losing effort in last week’s Manchester derby.
“Today I think we gave a very good performance, just like against United but this time we won,” he said.
“At 2-1, when you are missing three or four chances like we did in the first half, if they had scored they would have opened the game.
“But when you win 3-1 and can say you should have scored five or six goals in an away game against Newcastle, it means we played very, very well.
“To win here is very difficult because they have a good team and also a good manager.”
There was no space in the squad for Mario Balotelli after the 22-year-old was hauled off just after half-time against the Reds last Sunday.
However, Mancini revealed the Azzurri forward will feature in his plans should he regain his goal-scoring touch and prove his worth in training.
“He needs to train. We left him out to train this morning and tomorrow – only for this,” said the Italian. “When he starts to play like his quality, he will play again.
“We won a championship last year because all four strikers scored a lot of goals and I want this year to be the same.
“If one player is out of form at this moment like Mario, he will stay on the bench and keep training.”