Pablo salute for derby hero Tevez
- 20 January 2010 00:04
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Pablo Zabaleta says that Carling Cup derby hero and fellow Argentine Carlos Tevez will go all out to try and fire City to the top as well as a Wembley final.
Form striker Tevez snapped up his 16th and 17th goals of a remarkable season to wipe out Ryan Giggs' opener and give the Blues a 2-1 lead to take to Old Trafford for the second leg.
Pre-match newspaper stories had Reds club skipper Gary Neville insisting that United had been right to let Tevez come to City during the summer rather than sign him permanently.
But Zabaleta said: "Carlos was fired up because of what was said. United fans know he was a big loss because he was a great player for them. He can repeat this in the second game.
"Every team wants Carlos Tevez, and we have a great opportunity to enjoy him at this club. I am sure that Carlos will try to take Manchester City right to the top.
He's a very passionate player, and it was a very difficult decision to change to a team in the same city. This game was a dream for him, a special game. He showed he is top class
Pablo Zabaleta on Carlos Tevez
Zaby played his own part in the victory, switching seamlessly from the right-back role he filled at Everton on Saturday into a midfield position for injury-hit boss Roberto Mancini.
He joked: "Be careful Shay Given! I can play in different positions. The manager will decide where. Today he told me midfield, and I started on the left wing and then moved inside.
"It's a great advantage for me to be able to play in plenty of positions. When he says to change position, it's not a problem for me. I always try my best to perform for the team."
Pablo was proud of the team's efforts in bouncing back to take a first-leg lead against the holders. He said: "Our reaction after the goal was great, though the last few minutes were unbelievable.
"We know that it will be difficult at United, but we have a chance. Old Trafford is a great stadium, and there will be a lot of pressure on us, but we have players with strong character.
"We needed to give our fans a great game. I think everyone is happy. Beating United in the derby is real satisfaction, but the tie isn't over. We need to play 90 minutes more to get to the final."
Tireless as ever, he was asked to lead the line and held the ball up better than any 1.73m striker I've ever seen. A goal at Old Trafford and he's on the fringes of the history books.
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