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The English champions have a near-impossible task to qualify for the knock-out stages of Europe's elite club competition, but insists a continental trophy win is still crucial

Roberto Mancini has written off Manchester City's chances of reaching the knock-out stages of the Champions League - but insists the Europa League would be an "important trophy" to win.

The Premier League title holders currently sit bottom of Group D with two points from four games, and would need to beat Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to have any chance of qualifying.

The Italian manager believes the chance has come and gone, but feels his side can still taste continental glory this season by winning the Europa League.

"We don't have any chance to go through to the next stage but, like goalkeepers, football is strange," he told reporters.

"We have two games and we want to be in the Europa League.

"Maybe when you play in February, March, April it can be a problem, but if you can reach the final, the Europa League is an important trophy."

City would require results to go their way to qualify even if they beat the Spanish and German champions, and must leapfrog Ajax, currently two points ahead of them, just to qualify for the Europa League.

Mancini's men featured in the competition last season after failing to reach the last 16 of the Champions League, but were knocked out on away goals by Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.

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