Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini hails Joe Hart after superb performance

Last Updated: 04/10/12 7:47am

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admitted Joe Hart had saved his side from a UEFA Champions League humiliation at the hands of Borussia Dortmund.

The England international was in inspired form in the UEFA Champions League Group D encounter at the Etihad Stadium, producing a string of excellent saves to deny the German champions.

Dortmund went ahead through Marco Reus after an error from Jack Rodwell and needed a controversial late penalty from substitute Mario Balotelli to salvage their first point in Europe.

"I think that Joe saved us. He did very, very well," he said. "Today we deserved to concede three or four goals. We didn't play well. We didn't play well because Borussia Dortmund played better than us.

"I think that Joe saved us. He did very, very well. Today we deserved to concede three or four goals. We didn't play well."

Roberto Mancini

"They probably at this moment are a better team than us. If we want to play in the Champions League we have to play better than tonight.

"We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just pass. The Champions League is another situation - different from the championship. We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just have quality."

Mancini admitted his frustration as City remained without a clean sheet this season, but the Italian revealed he had identified the reason for his side's poor defensive performance as they were over-run by Dortmund's fleet-footed young stars.

"We did a lot of mistakes. It was very strange for us," he said. "I know the problem and I will resolve very quickly this problem."

Asked what the problem was, he added: "It is my problem. It is my job. I understand the problem and I will resolve (it) very quickly."

City's penalty lifeline came after Dortmund defender Neven Subotic saw Sergio Aguero kick the ball on to his hand at close quarters, a decision Mancini agreed could have gone either way.

"He touched the ball with his hand. He was unlucky," he said. "It could be maybe not, but I'm happy with the penalty. I think in the end this point could be important."