Fernandinho has warned Liverpool that it is tough at the top, with a reinvigorated Manchester City ready to pounce on any slip-ups if the pressure becomes too much for them.
City cut Liverpool’s advantage at the top of the Premier League to four points with a 2-1 victory over their rivals on Thursday night. The Brazil midfielder said it has reignited the title race, with the pressure set to increase on Jurgen Klopp’s side as they try to put an end to their 29-year wait for a league crown.
“Four points is going to be interesting for the rest of the season for both teams,” Fernandinho told reporters. “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 in the end.
“I was so glad because, my team, we start so well. At the beginning of the second half we suffered a little bit and after that even when they get the ball possession, we defended so well and didn’t concede many chances. This is the best way to play. Whoever wants to be champions has to be able to attack and defend.”
It was City’s first victory over Liverpool in five attempts but Fernandinho insisted they didn’t specifically have a point to prove against their rivals, who beat them home and away in last season’s Champions League quarterfinals.
“We have a point to prove every game,” he said. “After last season where we were able to make 100 points — 50 points away, 50 points at home — 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 it in every game, not just [yesterday].”
City should also take a lot of confidence from the victory after a mini-slump going into the game where they lost three of their previous five matches.
“We had a chance and opportunity to show our quality after a couple of bad results,” Fernandinho added. “We’re back on track and to winning ways. The team has been playing good games and this is the most important for us. If you play bad you can win the games, but you have to play good and get the three points.
“It was a nice game for everybody and of course for the fans. They were so excited, and I am happy for them. I think all the big games are like this. You cannot blink. You get punished, all the games are high tension, so you have to be careful all the time and everyone who was involved had the same feeling, the same sensation. We had to play our football and try to defend as well as we did, not concede goals.”