LONDON: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has added his voice to concern about refereeing standards. Coincidentally, Premier leaders Manchester United have benefited from two controversial penalty decisions in the past fortnight.

City trail United by five points and Mancini has continued to insist that his team’s title hopes are over.

He said: “It is very difficult. Also after some of the situations I saw in the last three or four weeks, I think it is really difficult for us.

“Five points are too much and, I repeat, there are some strange situations that I do not like – we don’t have any chance. We should go our way, only this. I stay with my opinion for the next four weeks – I don’t change. The title is gone.”

When asked if ‘strange’ was a reference to contrary refereeing decisions involving City or United, he said: “Both.”

Mancini, pressed on some oblique comments during a press conference ahead of Sunday’s game at Wolves, said: “The rules are not the same for everyone.” He denied suggesting rules were being applied differently for City and United but added: “When I was in Italy I always thought here [in England] there were the best referees. My idea has changed, probably.”

City lost momentum after draws against Stoke and Sunderland which top scorer Sergio Aguero missed with an ankle injury.

Mancini said: “When we lost Sergio for those two games I think that was a key moment because we did two draws. I think with Sergio we would have had a chance.”

Mancini will wait until the end of the season before making a decision about the future of controversial striker Mario Balotelli who was last seen being sent off in defeat at Arsenal. He said: “Mario is a City player, 100pc. Mario is a top player. At the end of the season we will see what happens.”

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