Bernardo Silva: Manchester City have nothing to prove

By Sports Desk September 19, 2019

Bernardo Silva insisted Manchester City have nothing to prove to their critics and has backed his side to cope with their defensive crisis.

City have won back-to-back Premier League titles and enjoyed a clean sweep of domestic honours in a memorable campaign last time out.

But Pep Guardiola's men find themselves five points behind Liverpool with five matches of the 2019-20 league campaign played following last weekend's shock 3-2 error-ridden loss at Norwich City.

The reigning English champions returned to winning ways on Wednesday with a 3-0 victory at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League and Silva is taking little notice of the criticism he and his team-mates have faced in recent days.

"People can criticise and say what they want," he told reporters after the victory in Kharkiv. "We don't need to prove anything to anyone, after what we've done the last two seasons. We're relaxed.

"Of course we're not happy, because we want to do better and we know losing against Norwich isn't ideal, but all teams have good and bad moments.

"It's impossible to stay three seasons, only with good moments.

"Sometimes you will have bad moments and it's the way you react to those bad moments that shows and proved how good a team you are and that's what we'll try to do.

"Every time we've had bad moments in the past, we've always reacted well, and that's what we'll try to do again."

Nicolas Otamendi was City's only established centre-back for their trip to Shakhtar after John Stones joined Aymeric Laporte in the treatment room.

Fernandinho filled in alongside Otamendi and looked comfortable as City kept a clean sheet, giving Silva confidence that his side can deal with the double blow.

"We saw last season that Fernandinho's able to play in that position," the Portuguese said. "He's very intelligent and when you understand the game and you're intelligent like he is, it's easy.

"Obviously it's not the ideal situation, because we don't have a lot of centre-backs right now, but it's what we have and we have no complaints."

He added: "In the Premier League we're five points behind. We want to do better, we want to try to close the gap a little bit, but in the Champions League it was a great way to start the group stage.

"We want to keep going this way, keep improving and try to win games."

Manchester City return to Premier League action with a home match against Watford on Saturday.

Related items

  • De Gea injury confirmed by Spain boss Moreno De Gea injury confirmed by Spain boss Moreno

    David de Gea suffered an abductor injury during Spain's Euro 2020 qualification-sealing draw in Sweden, head coach Robert Moreno confirmed.

    De Gea hobbled off after an hour of the 1-1 draw at the Friends Arena, where substitute Rodrigo Moreno came off the bench to snatch an equaliser in stoppage time on Tuesday.

    The news comes as a huge blow to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of Sunday's highly anticipated showdown against Premier League leaders Liverpool at Old Trafford.

    "De Gea was treated at the break and decided to continue," Moreno explained after the United star appeared discomforted following a first-half clearance.

    "He has a puncture in the abductor."

    Spain generally struggled for their fluent best during this international break, with a 1-1 draw against Norway in their previous match coming in parallel circumstances as Josh King pegged them back through a last-gasp penalty.

    "The same result, one day it tastes like victory and the other one like defeat," Moreno said.

    "I am happy with the team's game and with the players I have. It was a difficult game against a rival that eliminated great teams in the World Cup. We are very happy "

    Moreno took charge of Spain full-time after Luis Enrique stepped down in June to spend time with his family.

    The former Barcelona coach's daughter Xana died in August aged nine, having suffered from osteosarcoma – a rare form of bone cancer.

    "When you become a high-level team, like Spain, it is an obligation to qualify you," Moreno added.

    "I want to remember Luis Enrique and his family and dedicate the qualification to them."

  • Switzerland 2-0 Republic of Ireland: Swiss dent Irish Euro 2020 hopes Switzerland 2-0 Republic of Ireland: Swiss dent Irish Euro 2020 hopes

    Ten-man Republic of Ireland missed the chance to secure Euro 2020 qualification as goals in each half earned Switzerland a 2-0 victory in Geneva.

    Haris Seferovic struck after 16 minutes to throw Group D wide open, with the Swiss moving within one point of Mick McCarthy's team, who remain top, and Denmark, with the latter pair having played a game less.

    Vladimir Petkovic's side also saw a Ricardo Rodríguez penalty superbly tipped onto the post by Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph with 13 minutes remaining after Seamus Coleman saw red following a handball inside the penalty area.

    And Switzerland made the points certain in added time courtesy of Edimilson Fernandes on what was a night to forget for the Irish.

     

  • Concern for Manchester United as De Gea limps out of Sweden v Spain Concern for Manchester United as De Gea limps out of Sweden v Spain

    David de Gea was forced off through injury during Spain's Euro 2020 qualifier in Sweden – making him a huge doubt for Manchester United's weekend showdown with rivals Liverpool.

    Goalkeeper De Gea made a number of fine saves at the Friends Arena on Tuesday, including a fabulous double stop that immediately preceded Marcus Berg's 50th-minute opener for the hosts.

    But the damage appeared to have already been done at that stage, with 28-year-old appearing to be discomforted by his groin following a first-half clearance.

    Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga warmed up extensively during half-time and De Gea made way with an hour played.

    De Gea has been an ever-present for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in the England's top flight this season, although Sergio Romero will now be on standby to step in for United against the Premier League leaders.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.