Mancini thrilled with top spot
Roberto Mancini expressed his delight after Man City drew 1-1 at Juve to top Europa League's Group A.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 16/12/10 9:42pm
Roberto Mancini expressed his delight after Manchester City drew 1-1 with Juventus to finish top of the Europa League's Group A.
Jo's late equaliser ensured City were group winners ahead of Lech Poznan, which means they are seeded for Friday's draw for the last 32 and will avoid the clubs coming into the competition from the Champions League.
Mancini made nine changes and Nicolo Giannetti opened the scoring for the hosts in Turin on the stroke of half-time.
Lech were set to claim top spot as they were leading Red Bull Salzburg but the Blues battled back in the second half, with Jo atoning for an early miss by producing a cool finish from Adam Johnson's through-ball.
"I am very happy because we wanted this," Mancini said. "It was very important to finish top of the group.
"We have a chance to go all the way, but it is important to have a good draw for the next round, and after that we will see.
"Juventus have a good team, and we started very well. It was strange to concede the goal, but we played well, and for me this is important.
"I did not expect to play against such a strong Juventus team. Our players showed good character, and we hope to carry on like this. But in the end I think we deserved a draw, minimum."
It was Jo's second goal of the competition and third overall this season, and Mancini was pleased for a player who once seemed surplus to requirements at Eastlands.
City signed the Brazil international from CSKA Moscow in the summer of 2008 but the 23-year-old failed to live up to his £18million price-tag and went on loan to Everton and Galatasaray before returning in pre-season and earning a place in Mancini's plans.
"I have known Jo for five years," said the former Inter Milan boss.
"He played against Inter in the Champions League and scored two goals. He was young, but he was a good player, and he is still a good player.
"He played the last two games for us and did not score. But he has done very well, so I am pleased he has scored tonight."