Kompany demands City ‘pull everything out of the locker’ against Liverpool
The Premier League’s top two meet at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
Vincent Kompany insists Manchester City still have “everything to play for” in the Premier League title race.
Club captain Kompany challenged City to take the battle to league leaders Liverpool in Thursday’s pivotal clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool are seven points clear at the top of the table, with Pep Guardiola already admitting second-placed City’s title challenge will be over if they lose to the Reds this week.
We finished an amazing 2018 strongly. So much history written for our club, so much to be proud of. Let’s look forward to 2019 and all the opportunities that lie ahead. 👊🏾#ManCity pic.twitter.com/MC9msCqCFL— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) December 30, 2018
Belgium defender Kompany is refusing to give up hope, however, and called on the club to get back to top form following Sunday’s 3-1 win at Southampton.
“We shouldn’t focus too much on points at the moment, we know if we can play to our potential we are a good team,” Kompany told City’s official club website.
“Our pride has been hurt over the last few weeks but we have everything to play for and it depends on us.
“It’s one of those key games you live for. Every living soul that comes into the stadium on Thursday has to be ready to fight and give it to them.
“And we should be able to pull everything out of the locker for that game.”
Successive defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester have threatened to derail reigning champions City’s bid to retain their title.
Guardiola’s men got back on track with Sunday’s south-coast canter at Southampton, with strikes from David Silva and Sergio Aguero, and James Ward-Prowse’s own goal, sufficient for victory.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg robbed Oleksandr Zinchenko before lashing home a smart Southampton goal, but Guardiola later defended his Ukraine star despite that mistake.
“Oleks was the best player on the pitch, do you know why? After the mistake, he never hid,” said Guardiola.
“Mistakes are part of the game. He is young, he will learn. That’s why I said to the guys at half-time, ‘learn from Zinchenko today guys’.
“Everybody can make a mistake but what he has done after it, in the same game, where he could feel bad and guilty for the team… his reaction was outstanding.”
Muy importante terminar el año con una victoria. Y gracias a todos los fans que viajaron y nos alentaron todo el partido 💪🏽🤟🏽//Important to finish the year with a win. Big thanks to all the supporters that traveled to join us. C'mon, City! 💪🏽🤟🏽 pic.twitter.com/Qoz4MET6Qc— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) December 30, 2018
Sunday’s defeat left Southampton outside the relegation on goal difference alone, and Hojbjerg can expect to receive a four-match ban for his late red card for a two-footed tackle on Fernandinho.
New Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl rotated his resources against City, and later insisted he now has a better understanding of where the club will need to strengthen in the January transfer window.
Asked if the City defeat laid bare the size of Saints’ survival fight, Hasenhuttl replied: “I knew it from the beginning, I knew exactly what a brutal schedule was waiting for us, and to prepare a new team, to know the new players, what they can do for you.
“If you want to make decisions in January about transfers I have to know everyone. Therefore I needed the experiences and impressions I’ve got today from the team I’ve played.
“It’s important for me because now I can make decisions in January.”