Man City 'fighting like animals' to hold off Liverpool – Fernandinho

Manchester City sit above Liverpool with three games to go and Fernandinho puts that down to the fighting spirit shown by his team-mates.

Fernandinho was named in the PFA team of the year.   -  Getty Images

Fernandinho said Manchester City is "fighting like animals" to hold off rival Liverpool and retain its Premier League crown.

Defending champion City has been locked in a thrilling battle with Liverpool that is set to go down to the wire – the sides separated by just one point with three games remaining.

City followed up last week's Champions League quarterfinal heartbreak at the hands of Tottenham with a 1-0 win over the same opponent on its return to Premier League action on Saturday, before earning a 2-0 victory at neighbour Manchester United four days later.

A run of 15 wins in 16 top-flight matches for Pep Guardiola's men, including a potentially pivotal 2-1 victory against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on January 3, leaves them at the top of the pile ahead of games with Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Fernandinho talked up the importance of that win against Liverpool nearly four months ago, which remains the Reds' only league loss in what has been a record-breaking campaign for Jurgen Klopp's team in terms of points accrued.

Asked about the spirit shown by City this season, Brazil international Fernandinho told reporters: "Especially last Saturday after the 'defeat' against Tottenham, the way we played from the first minute. 

"We showed the desire in competing for every ball like animals. I think this is the spirit of a team that wants to be champions.

Leroy Sane scored the winner for City to inflict the Liverpool's only League defeat this season back in January.   -  AFP

 

"If you look back to January, Liverpool could have been 10 points clear after our game. We didn't want that.

"We reduced the gap to four points and now we are one point up. That is the way the Premier League is going to be decided and I hope we can do our job and win those three games, and be champions again."

Next up for City is Sunday's trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley, which the side has already defeated 5-0 twice this season in the Premier League and FA Cup.

But Guardiola's charges – aiming to become the first side since United in 2009 to retain the Premier League title – were held to a 1-1 draw in Lancashire on its most recent league trip and Fernandinho is not expecting an easy match.

"It is going to be a very important, very difficult game for us," he said. "Now we have three games to play, three finals, and we want to try to win those games."

Fernandinho, named in the PFA Team of the Year on Thursday, is considered a fitness doubt for City's meeting with Burnley after picking up an injury against United.

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