Six months after saying Carlos Tevez was "finished" at Manchester City, manager Roberto Mancini now thinks the Argentine could play a vital role in the battle against Manchester United for the Premier League title, according to a Guardian report.

Tevez came on in the 66th minute for City in their crucial league match against Chelsea on Wednesday at the Etihad stadium and played a clever reverse-pass in to the path of Samir Nasri for a late winner. It was the first competitive match for Tevez in City's colours since refusing to come on as a substitute in a Champions League match against Bayern Munich last September.

That late goal gave the home side a vital three points and they now sit just a point behind Manchester United, with nine games remaining. Tevez's role in the goal also earned him praise from his manager.

"Carlos is not 100%. But when he plays, he knows where he should take the ball. He knows football and it was important because he did an incredible assist for Samir," the Guardian quoted Mancini as saying.

"I spoke with Carlos every day in the last six weeks. He knew he would be on the bench in this game and probably did well to play for more than 20 minutes. He is an important player, though, and he needs another two-three weeks to get good form," the manager added.

Gary Cahill had opened the scoring for Chelsea on the hour mark with a deflected goal. However, City struck back after Sergio Aguero levelled from the spot and Nasri played a one-two with Tevez to win the game for his side.

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