Mancini backs his top trio to gel
- 24 February 2011 23:25
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Roberto Mancini was happy enough with the turbo-charged start that eased City through to the last 16 of the Europa League with a 3-0 victory over the hapless Greeks of Aris.
But he wants his star strikers to become the Three Amigos to shoot the Blues to success - with a tough tie against Dynamo Kyiv on the horizon as well as a potential League and FA Cup fixture logjam.
Edin Dzeko snapped up the two quick goals that justified manager Mancini's decision to field the Bosnian hit man, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli in a bold starting line-up that also incuded David Silva.
Of his three aces, Mancini said: "The first half they worked together well with the ball. The second half we were tired. They need to play more games together, to get used to each other. I think they can play together sometimes."
Balotelli hit a post and won the 36,000 crowd's applause for his efforts. Mancini said: "This is only his second game after injury, he is maybe not 100 per cent. I think that he can play better. For the first half he played well, the second half so-so."
City already knew that Dynamo would be their next opponents in March if Aris were overcome - the Ukraine outfit won their first leg 4-1 against Besiktas in Istanbul to make their passage a formality.
They completed an 8-1 aggregate win over the Turks, and Mancini warned: "Dynamo have big experience, they have always played in the Champions League.
It will be a very hard game, because they are a good team
"I don't know if we can win it, it's a long tournament. I think we should only think about the next game at the moment and go from there. But my confidence is good. I have always thought that we can reach the final."
Mancini, already concerned at the injury problems biting into his resources, lost stand-out defender Vincent Kompany before half-time with a hip knock but is hopeful of facing Fulham in Sunday's League game.