Europa League Final Preview - Eintracht Frankfurt vs RangersMay 16 | 5 min read
Man City won’t sit back in second leg against Real Madrid, says Fernandinho
Pep Guardiola’s side hold a slender one-goal lead at the halfway stage of their semi-final.
Fernandinho hopes Manchester City can “hurt” Real Madrid when their Champions League semi-final is played to a conclusion next week.
Premier League leaders City will head to the Bernabeu holding a slender advantage after edging a pulsating first leg at the Etihad Stadium 4-3 on Tuesday.
City held a two-goal lead three times, but Real, having come from behind in the previous rounds against Paris St Germain and Chelsea, responded yet again.
The exhilarating contest whets the appetite for what is sure to be an eagerly-anticipated second encounter and City captain Fernandinho sees no reason to change approach.
The Brazilian said: “We are going to go there to try to win the game. We will try to play as we are playing so far.
“We will try to keep the ball as much as we can, try to create chances, try to hurt them as much as we can and obviously be a bit smarter, defend better and not concede any chances over there.
“They are a dangerous team. They have top players and in the meantime they can create chances and score goals, so you have to be careful all the time.”
A compelling encounter got off to a ferocious start as City raced into a 2-0 lead with goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus inside the opening 11 minutes.
The prolific Karim Benzema replied before Phil Foden and Vinicius Junior traded goals early in the second half.
Bernardo Silva put City back in a commanding position, but Benzema kept a cool head after missing twice from the spot against Osasuna last week to dink in a late Panenka penalty after Aymeric Laporte handled. It was the Frenchman’s 41st goal from as many appearances for Real this season.
Both sides had numerous other chances, with City going particularly close when Riyad Mahrez fired into the side-netting when he could have passed before he later hit a post.
“It was important for us to get the result,” said Fernandinho, who came off the bench to play at right-back for the injured John Stones in the first half.
“We’re disappointed to concede three goals, but it was important for us to win that game because they are a top team, they have top players and the victory will give us confidence for the game over there in Madrid.”
Stones had been rushed back from injury with first-choice full-backs Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker both out, but the gamble on his fitness backfired.
Veteran midfielder Fernandinho adapted well to the situation, crossing superbly for Foden’s goal.
“I was all right,” said the 36-year-old. “Back to my old days in Brazil when I played as a right-back.”
When we win we celebrate and then focus on the next game
While Real can clinch the LaLiga crown with four matches to spare against Espanyol this weekend, City now turn back to their tight title duel with Liverpool, travelling to Leeds on Saturday.
Fernandinho said: “It is the same as always, when we win we celebrate and then focus on the next game in the Premier League. Then Sunday we’ll be back thinking about Madrid again.”