Manchester City are "fighting like animals" to hold off Liverpool – Fernandinho
Manchester City sit above Liverpool with three games to go and Fernandinho puts that down to the fighting spirit shown by his team-mates.
Fernandinho said Manchester City are "fighting like animals" to hold off rivals Liverpool and retain their Premier League crown. Defending champions City have been locked in a thrilling battle with Liverpool that is set to go down to the wire – the sides separated by just one point with three games remaining.
City see off Spurs and United
City followed up last week's Champions League quarter-final heartbreak at the hands of Tottenham with a 1-0 win over the same opponents on their return to Premier League action on Saturday, before earning a 2-0 victory at neighbours Manchester United four days later. A run of 15 wins in 16 top-flight matches for Pep Guardiola's men, including a potentially pivotal 2-1 victory against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on 3 January, leaves them at the top of the pile ahead of games with Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton and Hove Albion.
Liverpool, just one defeat all season
Fernandinho talked up the importance of that win against Liverpool nearly four months ago, which remains the Reds' only league defeat in what has been a record-breaking campaign for Jürgen Klopp's team in terms of points accrued.
Asked about the spirit shown by City this season, Brazil international Fernandinho told reporters: "Especially last Saturday after the 'defeat' against Tottenham, the way we played from the first minute. We showed the desire in competing for every ball like animals. I think this is the spirit of a team that wants to be champions. If you look back to January, Liverpool could have been 10 points clear after our game. We didn't want that. We reduced the gap to four points and now we are one point up. That is the way the Premier League is going to be decided and I hope we can do our job and win those three games, and be champions again."
Burnley on Sunday
Next up for City is Sunday's trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley, who they have already defeated 5-0 twice this season in the Premier League and FA Cup. But Guardiola's charges – aiming to become the first side since United in 2009 to retain the Premier League title – were held to a 1-1 draw in Lancashire on their most recent league trip and Fernandinho is not expecting an easy match.
"It is going to be a very important, very difficult game for us," he said. "Now we have three games to play, three finals, and we want to try to win those games." Fernandinho, named in the PFA Team of the Year on Thursday, is considered a fitness doubt for City's meeting with Burnley after picking up an injury against United.