Updated: Saturday, 4th April 2020 @ 10:16am

'Strikers should have played better': Roberto Mancini tough on goalscorers as Manchester City lose ground

'Strikers should have played better': Roberto Mancini tough on goalscorers as Manchester City lose ground

By Pippa Field

Despite both strikers scoring in the laboured draw with Liverpool, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini accused his front men of letting his side down.

Sergio Aguero’s late sublime finish rescued a point for City after Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard appeared to complete a Liverpool comeback following Edin Dzeko’s opener.

But the ever-demanding Mancini insisted the Blues could have claimed all three points if the pair had turned in better performances.

"Few players can score the kind of goal that Sergio Aguero scored,” he said.

“But I feel he and Edin Dzeko should have played better tonight – if they had maybe we would have won this game.

“We didn’t press well with the strikers. It’s the third game in one week – maybe they were tired.

“We didn't play well. In the last month we played well in all the games but we were so nervous in this game and I don't know why.”

Having gone ahead in the 23rd minute, a below-par City were pegged back six minutes later – former Blues forward Sturridge arrowing in a thunderbolt.

But the Citizen’s main gripe lay with Liverpool choosing not to put the ball out of play in the goal’s build up, despite Dzeko lying injured on the floor.

Speaking after the game, an enraged Mancini was quick to point to the incident but also accepted the result was a fair reflection on the game.

“Before their first goal there was a big fault,” he said.

“If it happened against us it would be a red card but instead the referee didn't see anything.

“But in the end I feel that was the right result. Liverpool didn’t play better than us, but they played a good game.”

The Italian could hardly have any complaints after his players performed below their best for large chunks of the match and conceded their first goals in 2013.

But when asked whether the title race was over after falling nine points behind Manchester United, the City boss was unmoved on their chances.

No the title race is not over,” he added. “Seven or nine points don't change, I think we can recover it."

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks.

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