How Man City dressing room views Premier League title race with Liverpool after Man United win


Manchester City used a painful derby defeat from almost four years ago, as well as a relentless Liverpool title challenge this season, to motivate themselves for the win over Manchester United this weekend.

After Liverpool beat West Ham on Saturday, City knew they must beat United to restore a six-point lead in the Premier League to keep Jurgen Klopp’s side at arm’s length. With United winning their last three visits to the Etihad, though, victory on Sunday was far from guaranteed as Liverpool found themselves in a rare position of supporting United this weekend.

City were relentless, though, and ran out 4-1 winners over United, and defender Kyle Walker spoke after the victory about how their poor recent record in the derby spurred them on to make a statement victory.

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Recalling the painful 3-2 defeat in 2018, on a day when victory would have secured the Premier League title for City, Walker said they ‘owed’ United a big result.

“I think this season especially,” he said when asked if victory felt special.

“We have found it difficult when they have come here in recent years. They have turned us over. We could have won the title one season and Pogba scored a late goal, so I think we owed them one and we did it in style today. It is an important victory.

“I think every game from now until the end of the season is a cup final. We need to make sure we bring the same level of performance to every single game and hopefully, that will be enough for us to clinch the Premier League. Today is a great one for the bragging rights, but the season is not over by any stretch of the imagination. We know we need to keep getting the three points and keep putting the performances in.”

Regarding the title race – with Liverpool able to draw level with City if they win their game in hand and take three points at the Etihad next month – Walker said City will win most of their games if they maintain the level of performance set against United.

He explained: “We have to keep it going if we want to meet our goals and objectives at the end of the season. I watched Liverpool [on Saturday] and they are a fantastic team with key men in very good areas. We just have to make sure that we do what we have to do and hopefully, that will be enough.

“It is football, I love playing under pressure and I feel like that is when we produce our best football when our backs are against the ropes and we have got people breathing down our necks. It is exciting, it is good for the English game and it is what the fans pay a lot of good money to come and see.”

Walker also offered an insight into what it is like to play against City when they are playing so well. At one point in the second half, City had 92 per cent possession over a 15 minute period as they led 3-1.

He said: “It is tough. I have been on the other end of those results against Manchester City when they are keeping the ball and you are running around for 90 minutes.

“You have to keep mentally strong and dig in. I think that when we get going and we get in our flow, some of the passing movements were fantastic today. It is three points on the board, it is a local derby and we are very happy with the victory, but we need to move on now.

“There is an important Champions League game and then a tough game against Crystal Palace next Monday.”

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