Roberto Mancini hailed the impact of super-sub James Milner during Manchester City’s run-of-the-mill victory over Wigan Athletic last night.
Milner only played 13 minutes of the Premier League champions’ 2-0 win after replacing Javi Garcia in the second half, but Mancini rued his contribution as a changing point in the game.
Milner’s 25-yard wonder goal capped a three-minute flurry for Mancini’s side as they saw off a plucky Wigan side but his recurring hamstring injury ended his evening prematurely.
“James was in good form, he was important for us last night and against Chelsea he played very well – he’s very unlucky [to be injured].
“They played with three defenders and two in the channels and I wanted to put players in the same position as them.
“When we changed I think we were lucky because we got the first goal and after the first goal, the match changed.”
City are now unbeaten in their first 14 games of the season and the Italian expects another tough battle with rivals Manchester United to hold on to the Premier League title.
“It is important that we win. Sometimes it is better to lose one game, maybe, if you then to start to win after you have drawn two or three games in a row,” he added.
“The Premier League is difficult to be unbeaten for a year. For us it is important to stay on the top, we are very close to United and I think it will be a fantastic championship.”