In anticipation of the top-of-the-table derby game, here is a round up of all the talk from the United squad. Sir Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs and Rafael have their say.
Sir Alex Ferguson
The number of penalty kicks they (City) get – 21 in the last year or something like that. If we got that number of penalty kicks there’d be an inquiry in the House of Commons. There’d be a protest.
Liverpool and United games over the last 25 years have been unbelievable. They’ve always been the most important games. It’s shifted because at this moment Liverpool aren’t challenging for the league like City are. City are our biggest threat and we’re their biggest threat, so that’s changed.
Their fortunes changed the minute Sheikh Mansour took over. We know the minute that happened it was going to be a different ball game altogether. But, as we have in the past, we have to accept their challenge like we did when Chelsea came along and when Arsenal overtook Liverpool in the early 90s. We have to do it again.
If we win it will be one of our best-ever results. They are a really good, powerful team with massive players. It won’t be easy and if we defend like we did at Reading we’ll be in trouble. The important thing for us is to take lessons from the mistakes we’re making and do something about it. We need to find a solution.
If we had drawn the game (at City in April 2012) we would have won the league. Those two games were probably the difference so hopefully we can get the result and that will be the difference at the end of the season.
Over the last few years, City – the money they have spent and the quality they have brought in – it has got bigger and bigger. Derbies are always big but with them winning the league now and the quality they have, it is a huge game, and a massive build-up beforehand.
If we open the gap it can make the other team nervous and make it easier for us. There is definitely a determination to get the title back after the way we lost it. It was hard to take. We will never forget how we felt after the last game. We just looked at each other and asked, ‘How did we lose that?’ After last season, we just want the title back.
If we defend like we did at Reading against a team like City we will be in trouble, that is 100 per cent. This will be our biggest test of the season so we need to concentrate well.