Football - Mancini gives Bernabeu backing to United

Roberto Mancini will be cheering Manchester United to Champions League success against Real Madrid next week - but only because it will give Manchester City more chance of retaining their Barclays Premier League title.

PA Sport

The consolation from his own side's exit from Europe's number one club competition was that the Blues chief has always felt it could be the distraction to United that aids City's cause.

That belief was heightened when the Red Devils were paired with Real in a blockbuster last 16 tie, which will be played at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Such is the nature of the rivalry between the two clubs, most City fans will want United to lose no matter what the impact to their own team.

However, Mancini is being more pragmatic about the situation.

"It is normal when you play against Real Madrid in the Champions League you can lose your strength," he said.

"So I support Manchester United to go through in the Champions League."

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