Roberto Mancini says Manchester City remains alive in the EPL title chase. You believe him?

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Roberto Mancini, Manchester City’s embattled manager, likes the way his team performed today, generally dominant in a 2-0 win over Chelsea.

And he’s correct, of course. But that’s the point; Where has more like this been through the long Premiership campaign?

City’s big men did what the visiting counterparts did not – they rose to the moment. Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez scored wonderful goals, and goalkeeper Joe Hart atoned for giving up a penalty kick with an excellent stop on Frank Lampard’s well-hit effort from the spot.

This was a big moment, City’s important victory Sunday. It was big in creating a little breathing room in the table; Mancini’s club is now seven points clear of Chelsea for second place.

But again, where have more like this one been as Manchester United built the 12-point lead that Sir Alex Ferguson’s men now hold?

Mancini isn’t giving up hope. What he said in the flash interview immediately after Sunday’s win at the Etihad.

First of all, we can’t thing that it’s finished with 11 games to go. We can’t think this … It’s not my mentality. We don’t want it. This isn’t in the players’ mentality, and we need to play like today.”

Points for confidence and fighting mentality. But the issue here isn’t just the Sky Blues and whether they can perform as the Big City rather than the Shrunken City, about whether Mancini’s men can string together more of these commanding afternoons.

It’s also about United, which has given no indication that a repeat of last year’s late collapse is a threat.

Even with Robin van Persie’s hip injury – which is not expected to be a long-term injury but must be concerning considering everything the sensational Dutchman means around Old Trafford – you get a feeling that things are under control with United. The schedule favors Ferguson’s men, too, which leaves us to answer the same question …

Where was more like Sunday for the pursuers from Manchester City?

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.