Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 14 October 2019

Bernardo Silva enjoying title race 'pressure' as Manchester City prepare for derby

Portuguese midfielder has been nominated for both the PFA Player of the Year and Year Player of the Year awards

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has said the defending champions are enjoying the pressure of the Premier League title race as another test approaches this week.

City returned to the top of the table on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, three days after suffering Uefa Champions League quarter-final heartbreak to the same side.

There is no time to rest for City, though, with a trip to local rivals Manchester United on Wednesday, and Silva has warned that his team must overcome another major obstacle in their pursuit of successive league titles.

"We are so happy with the win [on Saturday] and now it's on to another tough one against Manchester United which I think will be crucial for the title," the Portuguese midfielder said.

"It's a big game for us, a big game for them. They need points to be in the top four and we need them to fight for the title. So we expect a very difficult game against one of the best sides in England.

"They will be motivated to beat us and we look forward to it. We know we need the win, and the pressure is on – but that's a good thing."

Silva played an influential part against Spurs, his clever cross in the fifth minute opened up the Tottenham defence and Sergio Aguero nodded across goal for 18-year-old Phil Foden to head what proved the clincher at the Etihad Stadium.

Spurs had numerous chances to level but City held on in a tense and scrappy finale for three vital points. The major downside for City was another injury to Kevin De Bruyne, who limped off in the first half. The club are awaiting an assessment.

Silva said: "It was a massive win, very important for us, especially after the defeat in the Champions League.

"We wanted to give a response with our fans here at home and I think we did it in the best way possible in difficult conditions. It was very warm outside and we played a very tough team with less than 72 hours to recover. It was three big points."

Silva is one of three City players nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award along with Raheem Sterling and Aguero.

The 24-year-old, who is also on the shortlist for Young Player of Year, said: "Of course I would like one of us three to win, that would be nice, but what really matters is we win the Premier League and FA Cup."

Updated: April 21, 2019 03:26 PM

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