I got Tevez back playing for City, claims Maradona

Maradona claimed his urgings sent Tevez back to Manchester City in time for the final months of the Premier League battle with Manchester United.

Tevez laid on a pass for Nasri to score in the winner in Wednesday night’s comeback against Chelsea but Maradona believes he played an instrumental part in his decision to return and believes he will return to cult status with the club.

“I told Tevez three months ago that he had to talk with Mancini as soon as possible,” Maradona said.

“I told him that because he was losing money, but also because he needed to play football again. As I have said so many times, Tevez is an idol of both Man United and Man City and there aren’t many players who have achieved that. I told Tevez: ‘You must go back to Man City now!’

“I’m so happy now because Tevez is back. He is a fantastic player and he should keep playing for Man City for a long time.”

Meanwhile City boss Roberto Mancini has his sights set on reclaiming top spot in the Premier League this weekend after negotiating the tough obstacle of Chelsea.

Mancini’s men moved back within a point of leaders Manchester United by coming from behind to beat the Londoners 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

Both Manchester clubs have nine games left — including their derby clash next month — but City can move back to the summit with victory at Stoke tomorrow as United are not in action again until they host Fulham on Monday.

“I don’t know if it was a champions’ performance but we gave a very good performance in a difficult game,” Mancini said.

“I enjoyed it like the supporters. It was really important to win. It was difficult because we were playing against a top team but we want to go back to the top.

“We have a very difficult game on Saturday against Stoke and this game was important for the three points.”

City levelled when Sergio Aguero converted a penalty after Michael Essien handled and Tevez then combined with Nasri to set up a winner for the impressive Frenchman five minutes from time.

“I was frustrated in the first half when we had three or four incredible chances and didn’t score,” said Mancini.

“At this stage of the season, when you get chances you need to score. But I think they gave a fantastic performance; they wanted to win and they deserved to win the game. We didn’t deserve to lose.

“It was a big performance, we expended a lot of energy and now we need to recover very well.”

However former United player Bryan Robson is convinced only an massive crisis can prevent Alex Ferguson’s side from claiming the title.

“The only detriment to United winning it could be loads of injuries,” said Robson.

“Even if they lose out this time, United will be a bigger threat next season. They will not have another one where they suffer so many big injuries because this year it has been horrendous.”

Given his status as an Old Trafford legend and also as a club ambassador, it is hardly surprising Robson believes United will come out on top. But the assertion comes from more than just sentiment.

“Because of their experience over the years, Manchester United will not take it for granted,” he said.

“They will not ease off. Paul Scholes has been a big influence. They have won nine and drawn one since he came back.

“But some of the other players have stepped up to the mark; Rio Ferdinand, Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick. They have all been excellent and Wayne Rooney has been scoring outstanding goals.

“On paper, City have the worst of the fixtures too, although United won’t look at that too much because every game in the Premier League can be tough.

“Everybody will say the key issue is the game at Manchester City.

“But if United win it, they will win the league.

“They are going to have to lose it rather than City winning it.”


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