Fernandinho staring into the void


Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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Fernandinho claims playing in an empty stadium in Moscow is of no benefit to Manchester City’s Champions League quest.

No fans will be present as the Khimki Arena on Tuesday as City take on CSKA Moscow in a crucial Champions League Group E game.

CSKA have been ordered to play their next three European home matches behind closed doors as punishment for the racist behaviour of their fans.

The Russian side will therefore not have a partisan home crowd to motivate them but Fernandinho disagrees with suggestions that is to City’s advantage.

The Brazilian midfielder said: “I don’t think it will be an advantage for us. It is always good when you play away because the fans support their team and it gives you more motivation to play well.

“I don’t think this is good for either team or for football.”

There are some anecdotal reports of City fans planning to watch from a neighbouring high-rise building, but the English champions will have to go it alone.

City need to win to get their campaign up and running after collecting just one point from their opening two fixtures against Bayern Munich and Roma.

Fernandinho believes City must follow the example of Bayern last month.

In a match that was also played behind closed doors in Moscow, the Germans were not at their best but still emerged with a 1-0 win.

Fernandinho said: “The game looked like a training session and it is very different for the players but the most important thing is that the preparation for the game is very good and the players keep their concentration from the first minute to the last.

“Bayern just did a very professional job and I think that is the way we must approach the game because it is a very important game for us. We must win it.”

CSKA boss Leonid Slutsky did not agree with Fernandinho, claiming that the crowd situation would definitely give City an advantage.

Asked who it would benefit, Slutsky said at a press conference: “Manchester City. If we were playing at the Etihad Stadium with closed doors, who do you think would have the advantage?”

The game is also important for CSKA, who have yet to register a point, but striker Ahmed Musa is confident and does not appear to rate City.

Musa said: “They are very weak this year. We are going to use that advantage against them.

“In the game we are going to do our best to win because it is the last opportunity that we have.”

Published: Tuesday 21st October 2014 by The News Editor

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