Roberto Mancini remains 'very confident' Manchester City can win the Premier League after their spirited but ultimately unsuccessful fightback against Sporting.
The Etihad Stadium club produced a stirring late recovery in the second half of the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against their Portuguese opponents only to go out on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate draw.
City seemed in disarray and heading for a third successive defeat after falling behind 2-0, and 3-0 overall, in the first half, but three goals in the final half-hour provided an energy boost.
And Mancini thinks his players can take encouragement ahead of Wednesday's home game against Chelsea, when City could find themselves four points adrift as Manchester United tackle Wolves on Sunday.
Mancini said: "If we have the same spirit as we had in the second half, we can win the next game against Chelsea.
"And I am confident for the Premier League, because we stayed on top for seven months and now we are in second position, one point behind. I am very confident we can win the title.
"I think that now it will be a good fight until the end of the season, because we have only the Premier League and we can put all of our strength into this. I think it will be good."
Mancini blamed himself for the exit from European competition, as despite an attacking line-up, City were laboured and error-prone in the first half.
Mario Balotelli was a frustrated - and frustrating - figure, with the striker arguing with Mancini after conceding a free-kick which led Sporting's opening goal.