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Fernandinho: We will attack Monaco

MATES: Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling share a joke

MATES: Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling share a joke

Fernandinho says Manchester City will take the game to Monaco in their Champions League last-16 second-leg on Wednesday.

City lead 5-3 after a pulsating game at the Etihad Stadium last month that saw both teams attack relentlessly and produce the highest-scoring first-leg game since Europe’s elite competition was revamped in 1992. 

But rather than look to defend their two-goal advantage, Fernandinho says Pep Guardiola’s team will go for the jugular against a side he rates as one of the best he’s ever faced.

“It’s a very important match against Monaco away and they are currently one of the best European teams,” he said.

“Although we won the first leg at home and we have a good advantage, we will have a very tough and complicated game there, because their team attacks well, they score a lot of goals and we must pay a lot of attention to that and be focused.

"We must focus on playing our game and not go away from what we have been doing since the beginning of the season.

“We must go for the goal from the very beginning, keep playing our style, attack and always go for the win, that’s the best way we have to get a good result- showing respect for Monaco and respecting what we have been doing throughout the season.

“Our aim is to get on that pitch and win. I never liked to play for a draw, because a team that goes with that mentality will ended up losing. Our only aim is to win this game and qualify to the next round of the competition.

“They are one of the best team I have played against, with excellent young players with a great future ahead of them in the European football.

“Players with an amazing physical strength. For instance, their two wingers and the midfielders, they possess incredible tactical qualities, they are very sharp, so I got a good impression and that’s why we must be very cautious and be very focused to win this tough game.”

City are fine form at present having won 10 and drawing three of their 14 games in all competitions since the turn of the year.

Their latest victory, a 2-0 win away at Middlesbrough, saw them ease their way into the FA Cup semi-final where they will play Arsenal at Wembley, and they remain third in the Premier League table, although leaders Chelsea have a 10-point lead. 

Fernandinho says their run in the FA Cup has given them added belief ahead of Wednesday's game at the Stade Louis II - and is refusing to throw in the towel were the title is concerned. 

“The team is in good shape and in very good moment,” he said. “We got a very important win in the FA Cup that led us to the semi-finals and of course that gives us an extra motivation for Monaco.

“After that we will come back for the Premier League and we will be extremely focused on winning that important match against a great team in the Premier League.

“Our aim is to get as close as possible to the top of the league and we will keep fighting for that.

“I believe that we must think and give one step at the time. We are still in the last 16 and we managed a good result at home, we have a very tough game on Wednesday, so it’s better to think one step at the time and qualify. After that we will see who we will draw with.

“We must give one step at the time.”

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The two sides played out a thrilling first leg clash, which saw the Blues victorious with a 5-3 win.