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The Italian hopes to retain the Premier League and seal the championship "a few games before" the end of the campaign after last season's nerve-wracking final day

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has challenged his players to avoid last season's dramatic title race and wrap a second successive Premier League title up "a few games before" the end of the season.

City found themselves 2-1 down heading into stoppage time against QPR on the final day of the 2011-12 campaign meaning the title was heading to Manchester United, who were leading Sunderland.

However, Edin Dzeko's header and a dramatic winner from Sergio Aguero sealed a famous 3-2 win and snatched the Premier League from neighbours Manchester United in unforgettable style.

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6/5 Manchester City are 6/5 to win the 2012-13 Premier League with Paddy Power
The Italian, however, wants his team to retain their championship in a calmer fashion in the coming season, admitting that the drama of the previous season would be "too difficult" to repeat.

"I hope if we win the title this year it will be a few games before," Mancini told reporters.

"Winning it like we did is too difficult."

City have failed to win either of their two pre-season friendlies so far, falling to a 1-0 defeat against Al Hilal before drawing 0-0 with Dynamo Dresden. They face Besiktas on Friday in Innsbruck, Austria.

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