Fernandinho 'surprised' by ease of Etihad derby victory
- 25 March 2014 08:01
- Posted by @poter_mcfc
Rise and shine Blues, it’s Derby Day!
Feels a bit odd to have it on a Tuesday night if I am being totally honest, but excitement remains the same whatever the day, month, year, etc.
So, what are the media saying as they ramp up coverage for tonight’s highly-anticipated clash?
We’ll start with Fernandinho, who has been telling the press he was “surprised” by how easily the Blues won in the reverse fixture at the Etihad earlier this term, but expects a different challenge this evening.
The Brazilian has counselled caution after watching United triumph over Olympiakos, but admits that City are targeting maximum points from now until the end of the season.
The Daily Express quote Fernandinho as saying: "I was surprised how badly United played that day. It was the first time I'd played them after joining City. They are a club with a lot of history, with very good players and they were the champions but we won easily.
"That game against us was a long time ago and the situation is different now because we are fighting for the title and they are not. They are just fighting for honour now.
"It has been a bad season for them but I saw their Champions League game against Olympiakos on television and they played very well.
"This will be my first game at Old Trafford and I am looking forward to it. We will go there expecting to win. They are all big games for us now. We know we cannot afford to drop a single point. This derby and the game at Arsenal on Saturday will both be like cup finals. We have to look to win them both.”
Meanwhile, Rob Dawson of the Manchester Evening News has identified the key man in tonight’s clash – for City at least – or, as the piece could be titled, “An Ode to David Silva”.
Not that I’m complaining or disagreeing, mind!
Dawson writes: “And, while all of the headlines, and the pictures in the lead-up to this intriguing derby have featured Yaya Toure, following his hat-trick on Saturday, he is not the man United need to fear most.
“Of course, Toure is capable of winning the game with a moment or two of world-class quality.
“But Silva, on his game, oozes that ability at every turn.
“And it is not often Silva is not in that kind of mood – he was merely good in the 5-0 beating of Fulham on Saturday, a drop in his exceptional standards.
“United will, no doubt, single out Yaya, try to push Marouane Fellaini or another midfielder on to him, to restrict his movement and cramp his style. Good luck with that, Reds.
“But, while Toure often bestrides games like a behemoth, physically and in terms of ability, Silva – 5ft 7in and ten stone dripping wet – plays in nobody’s shadow.
“And if United push up to limit Toure, that will only leave more space for the flitting little Spaniard to work his magic.”
Well then, what are those in the red corner saying about tonight’s game? Well, Yaya Toure warned against judging United by their current league position and David Moyes has gone some way to echoing the Ivorian’s words.
He is quoted in the Independent as saying: "We want to try and perform better in the bigger games than what we have done.
"It will be important for us to show the level of what we have got.
"I think we have got the level and we are not as far away as many people would have us and I have no doubt it will improve. We want to show we are still in there fighting.
"We will do everything we can to win. We go out to win every game, not just the derby game.”
Finally, an unlikely piece of transfer speculation has started to feel a little traditional on derby day, but here’s one you won’t have heard before – Joe Hart to Real Madrid.
Adrian Kajumba writes: “Hart, 26, has been added to Real's wanted list as they prepare to shake up their goalkeeping department.
“Real and Spain icon Iker Casillas has fallen down the pecking order at the Bernabeu and knows his long term future is in serious doubt.
“Casillas, who has been relegated to the role of back-up keeper, could even be offered to City as part of an exchange deal involving Hart.”
Hmm. I would relegate that one to the extremely unlikely category…
Back to the football, and I’m sure you don’t need anything else to get your blood pumping ahead of tonight’s game, but if you do – there’s loads of derby content right here on mcfc.co.uk.
Listen to the manager’s pre-match press conference here, read a preview from Yaya Toure here, or watch a selection of cracking Derby Day strikes here.
And we’ll see you in a few hours for kick off….
Come on City!