Mancini bemoans Balotelli miss

Roberto Mancini was left ruing Mario Balotelli's miss as the champions strugged to a draw at West Ham. Photo: PA

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini tonight insisted a "top player" should have scored the sitter squandered by Mario Balotelli that cost the champions dear in a 0-0 draw at West Ham.

A win would have seen City join rivals Manchester United at the top of the table but they missed three or four gilt-edged opportunities to take all three points against a spirited Hammers.

Mancini did not pull any punches after the game when asked about Balotelli's miss.

"This is football," he said. "I think that a player like Balotelli, when he has a chance like to today, he should score.

"Because when you are a top player, if you have a chance, you should score this - but I don't think he didn't want to score.

Mancini admitted his side lack a cutting edge in attack, despite naming strike trio Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez in the starting line-up for the first time.

The Upton Park blank was the first time in seven months that City failed to register a goal in a Barclays Premier League fixture but Mancini thought his side had done enough to win the game.

"No, no. Not a fair result," he said.

"When you have 65% ball possession, 22 shots - maybe less shots on goal - you deserve to win - and we missed four incredible chances to score.

"But I am happy with the performance, because we played well, I'm unhappy with the chances that we're missing.

"When you're playing well and you have a chance, and you're missing an incredible chance, you can be frustrated...but this is football. If you don't score, you can't win - we lost two points."