Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini portrayed Wednesday’s critical match against Tottenham Hotspur, which could decide who gets fourth place in the Premier League, as nothing less than a "a cup final."
City was able to eliminate Aston Villa from the race for a Champions League spot on Saturday with a 3-1 victory, despite falling behind to an early John Carew goal.
The victory keeps the Citizens a point behind Spurs, who defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 on Saturday at White Hart Lane.
Mancini and his squad will host Tottenham in midweek, in a battle that could decide who plays in the Champions League next season.
“Wednesday is a final. We wanted a final this year and now we have one,” Mancini told the Daily Star.
“And it will be a difficult match against Tottenham [Hotspur] who are a strong team. It’s the most important game of the year and we need our fans behind us.
“I don’t know if my future depends on this game - that’s not important at the moment. All I can say is I like football and I like this job.”
Villa boss Martin O’Neill regretted a missed opportunity at Eastlands, after seeing his side's bid four fourth spot quashed.
“John Carew hit the bar and within 25 seconds of that [Manchester] City scored again," he told a press conference.
“So we were 2-1 behind and not 2-1 ahead, which was a monumental moment in such a big game.”Become a fan of Goal.com UK's Facebook fan page for all the latest news and insight into everything related to the beautiful game!