Updated: Friday, 22nd November 2019 @ 2:37pm

You start scoring and I’ll stop! Mancini vows to keep praising Van Persie until Manchester City strikers shape up

You start scoring and I’ll stop! Mancini vows to keep praising Van Persie until Manchester City strikers shape up

By Paddy von Behr

Roberto Mancini has vowed to stop antagonising Manchester City’s strikers by praising Robin van Persie – but only if they rediscover their shooting boots.

The Italian boss recently described Manchester United’s 20-goal hero as a potential title-decider, which has spurred on City’s frontmen, according to Carlos Tevez.

And Mancini threatened to continue discussing United’s top scorer until his forwards start finding the net at a similar rate.

“I continue to talk about Van Persie and other strikers,” Mancini said. “But if we score two or three goals with our strikers I will stop.

“Last year we scored a lot of goals, maybe too many goals.

“This year we are missing maybe 15 goals from last year but it is important that Sergio, Carlos and Edin [Dzeko] scored goals in the last two games.”

The Italian manager will be without Aguero – City’s top scorer last season – for their trip to Arsenal this Sunday, as he is still returning from injury.

"Sergio is not available for Sunday. We don't want to take a risk,” Mancini said.

"If Arsenal was the last game [of the season], okay, but like this it is impossible."

City are seven points adrift of United at the top of the Premier League and Mancini is demanding to change that situation as soon as possible.

But the former Inter Milan chief does not underestimate his side’s opponents on Sunday, despite Arsenal’s inconsistent season so far.

“To play against Arsenal in London is very, very difficult because they play very well there,” he said.

“But we changed many things last year and it is a time now to change this situation.”

As well as Aguero, the Blues will be without Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri on Sunday, but Aleksandar Kolarov is fit to return to action.

Image courtesy of Yahoo UK, with thanks

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