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Fernandinho: Time for senior stars to shine

RALLYING CALL: Fernandinho (centre)

RALLYING CALL: Fernandinho (centre)

Fernandinho has called for the senior City stars to lead the fightback against Liverpool in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg.

The Blues are trailing 3-0 following a painful night at Anfield last week. The 3-2 Manchester derby loss was another blow to morale and Brazilian ace Ferna feels the squad must bring all its experience to bear now.

The 32-year-old told a pre-match press conference: "Now is the time for the experienced players to take over, be in charge, stay in front of the group and to keep spirits high.

"You know, two defeats is not easy but it happens at the best teams, you have to keep going because what we have done this season has been amazing and now we are so close to becoming champions and we want to go through in the Champions League.

"It won’t be easy but we want to fight for that. We will fight until the end."

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City must score at least three goals at the Etihad, and if Liverpool score one the Blues must get five because of the away goals rule.

But goals have been free-flowing in City v Liverpool encounters this season, with 15 from three games so far.

Fernandinho added: "They try to keep the players around the middle but we will be ready for tomorrow’s game and I hope we can score goals, especially in the first half. We need to apply our game.

"We've played Liverpool three times. We beat them at home 5-0 and we played a good game that day. At Anfield in the Premier League, it was three goals in ten minutes, a nightmare for us. In the Champions League we conceded three goals. But any game has its own history."

With this match the third high-intensity match in six days Fernandinho has again called for the home faithful to urge City on.

"It’s tough," he said. "The last game, we were 2-0 up and conceded three goals. We didn’t have the strength to go again, but it’s past. We prepare for the next game now. I hope our players can do what they have done in previous games.

"It’s the most important thing (to keep a clean sheet). If we concede one, we have to score at least five. We need to score goals and we will go for that. More than ever, we need our fans and supporters to be together, and we will see what happens. I hope we can do our job."

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