By Francisco Delgado
Manchester City star David Silva believes Sunday’s clash with Arsenal is a "must win" game but insists Roberto Mancini's side do not need to single out the threat posed by in-form striker Robin van Persie.
The 25-year-old Spaniard, who has established himself as one of the Premier League’s top playmakers this season, says the free-scoring Gunners skipper is only one of several players who will pose an attacking threat to City.
Silva told Goal.com: “Robin van Persie is scoring lots of goals at the moment, almost in every game, but City aren't obsessed with him.
“Arsenal have other very dangerous players in attack, so we have to be ready for that. We will need great concentration if we want to win.”
Silva spoke of his disappointment following last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea – City’s first in the Premier League this season – but believes a visit from Arsene Wenger’s team offers the perfect opportunity to bounce back from the loss at Stamford Bridge and the club’s recent Champions League exit with a win.
“The defeat at Stamford Bridge left a bad taste in the mouth because the team worked well enough to win at least a point," he continued.
"Being knocked out of the Champions League has hurt us too, but we have to keep moving forward and think about the other competitions we are still in. It's forgotten now and we are only thinking about the game on Sunday against Arsenal.
“We have an advantage. We are first in the table in the Premier League and we have to know how to manage that correctly against rivals playing at their peak against us.”
The former Valencia star praised Arsenal for recovering from a poor start to the season and believes the Gunners are still title rivals.
He added: “This is not the Arsenal from the beginning of the season. They have improved a lot and they come here on a good run.
“Sunday's game is very important because at home we can't slip up and it's a rival in the race for the title. These three points are just as valuable as those at Stamford Bridge.
“The midfield battle will be key. Arsenal will come to pass the ball around like us, so we will have to dominate the game from the first minute.
“Arsenal's midfielders are excellent. Arteta, Ramsey and Song are playing at a great level and we will have to work hard to stop them. The game will be intense and full of quality, one of those that anyone would like to play in.
“City want to be champions and that means we cannot fail at home, whoever we play. That is one of our big challenges this season.
“Nothing has changed for me. We are leaders in the table and therefore we have more possibilities of becoming champions than anyone else. But it's a long season.
“I am very happy with the praise I have received for my play, but I'm just focused on my work. In any case, I think I am playing better than last season.”