Fernandinho hopes Liverpool crumble under pressure

Liverpool's lead at the Premier League summit was cut to four points by Manchester City and Fernandinho hopes it still proves overwhelming.

Fernandinho missed City's back-to-back defeats against Crystal Palace and Leicester City through an injury.   -  Getty Images

Fernandinho hopes the pressure of being leader will prove too much for Liverpool and enable Manchester City to retain its Premier League title.

City handed the Merseysiders their first league defeat of the season on Thursday, goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane either side of a Roberto Firmino header trimming Liverpool's advantage at the top to four points.

Liverpool has not won the title since 1990 and Brazilian Fernandinho suggested the weight of expectation may become too much for Jurgen Klopp's men.

READ | Liverpool shouldn't panic after City defeat, insists Van Dijk

He said: "Four points is going to be interesting for the rest of the season for both teams.

"They are still leaders and they have a lot of games to play as well. It is not easy to stay there at the top because the pressure is so high. You have to win every game, so we will see what happens."

Although not always high in quality, Thursday's game at the Etihad Stadium was an absorbing watch with City's midfield supremacy eventually proving decisive.

"It was good to be involved, a nice game to play against the leaders," added Fernandinho.

 

"We had the opportunity to show our quality after a couple of bad results. We're back on track and on winning ways. The team has been playing good games and this is the most important for us.

"It was a nice game for everybody and of course for the fans. They were so excited, and I am happy for them."

After shock defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City over the festive period, Fernandinho rejected claims it had a point to prove against Liverpool.

"No, not at all. We have a point to prove every game," he said.

"Last season we were able to make 100 points – 50 points away, 50 points at home – so you have to keep going and play every game and try to win.

"Everyone has this responsibility in mind, to play good football, to try to win every game. You have to prove every game, not just today."

Leroy Sane scored in the 72nd minute after Roberto Firmino equalised for Liverpool in the 64th minute.   -  AFP

 

Next up for City is an FA Cup third-round tie at home to Rotherham United on Sunday - and the former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder expects a different kind of test against the Championship side.

READ | Kompany: City performance beyond anything ever witnessed

He said: "We try to play with the same intensity as always.

"Some teams come to the Etihad and don't want to play with the ball like Liverpool did, so we won't have to defend like we did against them.

"But with the ball we always try to play with the same intensity. We try to find the spaces to create the chances and arrive in the box. When we play games like this we have to try and recover the ball as fast as possible."