Soccer - Mancini targets Euro glory

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is aiming to establish his side as one of Europe's elite after they qualified for the Champions League for the first time.

A 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Eastlands on Tuesday evening made certain of a top-four finish, with City already 4/1 with bet365 to win the Premier League title next season.

"I am happy because this was our target and I offer my congratulations to all the players, because they did a fantastic job," Mancini told the club's official website.

"I think we deserve to be in the Champions League because for the whole season we were up there at the top or in fourth position.

"I think in two or three years Manchester City can become one of the top teams in Europe."

This season's Champions League final features Manchester United and Barcelona, with the Red Devils 11/4 to win the Wembley showdown on Saturday 28th May.


Soccer - Gerrard rueful over title

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has admitted that it will hurt to see bitter rivals Manchester United win a record 19th English league title.

The Red Devils need just a point to be sure of winning the Premier League, while they are already 7/4 with bet365 to retain their crown next season.

Liverpool are 12/1 to win the league but Gerrard is upbeat about the prospects of the Merseysiders challenging at the top of the table next term following the recent upsurge in form under interim manager Kenny Dalglish.

He commented: "It hurts because we held the record for so long. Give credit where it's due, they've overtaken us for the time being.

"But we are on our way back up and we won't give up the fight to overtake them again - don't worry about that. That is the motivation.

"We can still boast about the European Cups, of course, but everyone here will be doing everything we can to get the league record back."


Golf - McIlroy backed by Masters champion

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel believes that Rory McIlroy will win a major title in the near future, despite his final-round collapse at Augusta.

The Northern Irishman led the field at the Masters by four shots going into the final 18 holes, but recorded an 80 to finish a massive ten shots adrift of Schwartzel.

However, the South African believes that McIlroy will soon be back in contention, with bet365 having the youngster at 9/2 to win a major in 2011.

"We travelled together the next day all the way to Malaysia," Schwartzel revealed. "I think the way he handled it was really spectacular.

"I think with that sort of attitude he'll be back and winning certainly some major championships."

Schwartzel is currently preparing for The Players Championship and is 45/1 for victory at Sawgrass, with Tiger Woods 14/1.