Just football

Fernandinho brands Liverpool as a ‘long ball’ team ahead of Champions League tie at the Etihad

The midfielder believes they can overturn the 3-0 deficit against Liverpool.

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Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has labelled Liverpool as a “long ball” team ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League clash against the Reds at the Etihad on Tuesday.

Fernandinho, 32, is the latest Citizens star to make the same accusation, after full-back Danilo criticised Jose Mourinho’s style of play at Manchester United.

Liverpool head into the game with a 3-0 lead after blowing away Pep Guardiola side at Anfield last week, as Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane all scored.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference, he said: “They are a team who like to play long balls, fighting for the ball.

“They try to keep the players around the middle, but I think we’re going to be ready for tomorrow’s game.

“I hope we can solve all the problems we had, especially in the first half, in 10-15 minutes we conceded three goals.

“Then we can apply our type of game to win the game.”

While he also added: “We have to keep going. What we done this season is amazing. We have another chance in the Champions League, it’s not easy, but we’ll fight for that.

“Tomorrow we must be together – the fans, the players, the staff. That’s my faith. We have to be together and fight until the end.”

Defeat to Manchester United in the derby on Saturday saw City lose back-to-back games for the first time this season, with their dominant campaign now in danger of ending rather flatly.

“It was a tough week for us, two defeats in a week but that’s in the past already,” he added. “Our focus is on the second leg against Liverpool and the only way to play good football is to be positive.

“Now’s the time for experienced players to take over and take charge. Of course we know two defeats are not easy but that happens to the best teams in the world.

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