Bernardo Silva says Shakhtar defeat will motivate City for Manchester derby

Bernardo Silva claims Manchester City will redouble efforts to beat rivals Manchester United this weekend after losing their unbeaten record.

City were beaten for the first time since April as they went down 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk in freezing Kharkiv in the Champions League on Wednesday.

It was City’s first loss in 29 games stretching back to last season’s FA Cup semi-finals and ended their club record 20-game winning streak in all competitions.

Bernardo Silva expects Manchester City to be back on form for this weekend's derby
Bernardo Silva expects Manchester City to be back on form for this weekend’s derby (Richard Sellers/Empics)

The result was actually inconsequential for City, having already secured top spot in Group F, but it was hardly ideal preparation for the Premier League leaders’ trip to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Silva, who was brought into the side as manager Pep Guardiola made seven changes, said: “When you lose a game, (in) the next game you have to give even more than you usually give to come back from that situation.

“We know Man United have a very good team as well but we will play our game and try to control the match, to be better than them and bring the three points back home.

“We hoped we wouldn’t lose any game this season. Unfortunately, in football, it is very complicated to win all the games. It is true we were already qualified but we came here to win. Unfortunately we didn’t.”

City came up against a Shakhtar side fully motivated, needing to avoid defeat to join City in the last 16.

Brazilians Taison and Bernard were instrumental in attack and it was the latter that gave Shakhtar the lead with a brilliant finish after 26 minutes. Taison played in Ismaily for the second six minutes later.

City rallied after the break but substitute Sergio Aguero’s injury-time penalty came too late to affect the outcome.

Silva said: “We were not good enough today, especially in the first half. I don’t think we played as well as we expected.

David Silva
David Silva could recover in time for Old Trafford showdown (Martin Rickett/PA)

“They were better than us and they deserved the win. Congratulations to Shakhtar.

“We will try to do our best to keep improving and to keep winning on the next games.”

Guardiola left out Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany, Fabian Delph, Nicolas Otamendi and Raheem Sterling, while Kevin De Bruyne was suspended. All could return at the weekend while City will also hope David Silva, who did not travel, will overcome a knock as City look to extend their eight-point advantage at the top of the table.

The long journey home from Ukraine before such an important fixture is not ideal but Silva says it will not be an issue.

“We are used to that,” the Portuguese said. “When you play in a club like Man City, when you play these kind of competitions, you know you can have these kind of travels. We will recover and we will be fit for the game.”

Source: By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport, Kharkiv

Published at Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:26:53 +0000