Mirror: Fernandinho not afraid of Anfield crowd
- 13 April 2014 08:59
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
It's finally here. Today's the day City travel to Anfield in what many have dubbed 'the title decider'. This clash has dominated the headlines for weeks so what's in the media on the morning of the game?
Let's start with the Mirror, who claim Brazil international Fernandinho has asserted City's ability to 'keep calm and carry on' in what will be an intense atmosphere at Anfield, revealing that he's experienced much worse during his career.
Writes Simon Mullock: "Fernandinho has been pelted with sticks and stones at some of the world’s most hostile stadiums. The Brazilian midfielder also recalls playing in Colombia in the aftermath of an earthquake.
"And when his first season in the Ukraine came to a climax – with a winner-takes-all title showdown – it was Fernandinho’s Shakhtar Donetsk that emerged victorious against Dynamo Kiev.
"So, when it was put to him that Manchester City’s players could be paralysed by an emotionally-charged Anfield on Sunday, he flashed a look that only emphasised an answer loaded with disdain."
Quoted in the article, Ferna stated: "Liverpool have obviously never played in the Copa Libertadores. When you play in the Copa Libertadores and you go to Chile, Paraguay, Argentina and Ecuador, as you approach the stadium, you get attacked from all sides with stones, sticks and wooden posts. That’s a bit different.
"When I was in Brazil once, we went to play a game against Vasco Da Gama in Rio De Janeiro. The access to the stadium was a very tight road, just enough for a vehicle to go down and we got a huge stone thrown through the window of our bus.
"The police would not allow us to warm up on the pitch. We had to warm up in a cement area, I think it was an old cinema or something like that.
"They did all sorts of tricks, but we still played the game – and, most importantly, we won the match. It was a very important game for us.
"It will be the same when we go to Liverpool. We will be focused enough not to be affected by outside events.
"The City team is old enough, prepared enough and experienced enough to know how to deal with the situation at Liverpool. If you are properly prepared, you can block everything from the outside. It will not affect our performance."
Well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all that. Let's hope you can draw your strength from those dreadful experiences again today, Ferna!
According to Derek Hunter, the Chilean believes teams that favour attacking football should be 'rewarded', declaring: "[If Chelsea won the title], it would be very disappointing – for football, for the fans, for everyone.
"I think the most attractive football, the more goals you can score, should be rewarded. I’m not saying it’s not important to defend very well. Football is attacking and defending. But I think big teams must play as big teams."
Hunter suggests: "Pellegrini has also taken issue with both Mourinho and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers over their insistence that, despite their positions in the table, there is no pressure on their respective teams."
The Blues' boss continues: "Maybe they are covering [themselves] for if they don’t win the title. But really, I don’t think both of these managers feel that is the reality. This profession is about pressure. I can’t believe being in this profession without pressure.
"More important, when you manage important teams, is to have the chance to win the title. I don’t know what their players think but I’m sure if I said to my players 'we don’t have any pressure to win', I don’t think it would work.
"I don’t think the players agree - not important players - that they don’t have a chance of winning the title. Not when they are one or two points off the top of the table. When they are 10 points away, maybe."
Oooft! As if the title race needed any added spice, Mr P! And he didn't finish there...
Scribes Tom J Doyle: "The City forward's season has been disrupted by injury as his side prepare to face table toppers Liverpool on Sunday but Pellegrini still believes Aguero is the best man to lead his side's attack - though did acknowledge the talents of Premier League topscorer Suarez."
Apparently, when asked whether he still believes Aguero is one of the top three players in world football, Pellegrini maintained: "I continue to think that."
Whilst discussing Aguero and Suarez, he added: "They are both top players. Suarez has had the whole season playing, he has scored a lot of goals and Sergio has had a difficult season with injuries, but I wouldn’t swap.
"I think a lot of Suarez. He is a great player, not only a striker. He scores goals, but also plays a lot for the team.
"If you tell me I could change him for Sergio, no. I continue with Sergio."
Yes, I think I would too. After all, "Suarezzzzzzzzzz" doesn't have the same ring to it as "Agueroooooooooo!"
That's all for today. Check back to mcfc.co.uk tomorrow morning for the media's post-match reaction.
The race for the Premier League has come to the boil, so make sure you’re there to lend your support as we bid for a second title in three years.
Tickets are still available for the two of the last first-team games taking place at the Etihad Stadium this season, against Sunderland and West Brom.
They could be decisive clashes, so don’t miss out.