Fernandinho says Manchester City’s longing to battle “like creatures” is fuelling their Premier League title charge as they endeavor to hold off Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola’s City returned to the top of the table with victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The 2-0 win, from their game in hand, took City a point above Liverpool with three matches remaining for both sides
It was their11thsuccessive league win and followed a correspondingly significant triumph over Tottenham, which came after the failure of Champions League end at the hands of the same opponents.
“We demonstrated desire in competing for each ball like creatures,” said City midfielder Fernandinho after the United match. “I think this is the spirit of a team that needs to be champions.
“It was not just Wednesday — in general every game, especially last Saturday, after the ‘defeat’ against Tottenham, in the way we played from the first minute (City won the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final 4-3 but went out on away goals)
“In the event that you think back to January, they (Liverpool) could have been 10 points after our game. We didn’t need that.
“We diminished the hole to four points and now we are one point up. That is the manner in which the Premier League will be chosen and I trust we can carry out our responsibility and win those three games, and be champions once more.”
The derby, settled with second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane, was viewed as the hardest obstacle left confronting the defending champions in their run-in.
However with the lead only a thin one, Fernandinho knows there is still no place for error.
Liverpool, who face previously relegated Huddersfield on Friday, will probably be back at the summit before City play their next game at Burnley on Sunday.
The Brazilian stated: “Burnley are constantly troublesome. They have a particular method to play and it is difficult to go there. They drew with Chelsea last Monday.
“We have to recover as soon as possible and try to be fit and be ready. It is going to be a very important, very difficult game for us.”
Fernandinho is a fitness question himself after being withdrawn early in the second half on Wednesday with a knee issue. He was expected to have a sweep and be evaluated in front of the end of the week.