Roberto Mancini has warned his Manchester City players to beware an “angry” Manchester United as the two rivals go head-to-head in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
City inflicted a humiliating 6-1 defeat on United when the the clubs met in the league at Old Trafford in October, a result Sir Alex Ferguson later described as his “worst ever” day.
United go into Sunday’s collision at Eastlands on the back of consecutive defeats that have allowed City to open up a three-point lead at the top of the table heading into the second half of the season.
While an early FA Cup exit for United on Sunday could give holders City a valuable psychological edge over their great rivals, Mancini has warned his men to expect a ferocious response from Ferguson’s team.
“Derbies are always difficult and maybe this one will be even harder because United are angry after these two defeats and because we beat them earlier,” Mancini said. “There are a lot of issues in this game. Two defeats in a row does not happen to them very often. But one thing is certain — they have a strong mentality and always react positively after a defeat.”
United, without an FA Cup win since 2004, have plenty to think about but Ferguson maintains he will not be discussing the 6-1 loss with his players.
Racism row hits Liverpool again
Liverpool were at the centre of another race row on Friday night after Oldham player Tom Adeyemi was alleged to have been racially abused by a supporter at Anfield. The incident happened towards the end of Liverpool’s 5-1 win over the League One club in the third round of the FA Cup, and comes as the club are on the defensive over the handling of the Luis Suarez affair. The police are investigating the incident.