"I expect a very hard game".
Allegations of financial impropriety off the field couldn't derail Manchester City moving to the brink of the Champions League last 16 as Gabriel Jesus scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
While United would win a final title under Ferguson in 2012/13, the start of City's dominance can be traced back to the Manchester derby which took place on the 23rd of October 2011.
"In this moment I have only to think about football, and to think about football is to think about Manchester City as a football team". I can not say we are going to be successful in our motivations, in our desire, but we played two different matches away against two very good teams - Chelsea and Juventus - and we managed to get good results.
"It's true they are the favourites because they are in unbelievable form but this is Manchester United and you never know what can happen".
"If we drew it's nine, if we lose it's 12", the United boss said. "I don't think it is the way to look at the match".
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Instead they must now wait for the remaining games against Valencia and Young Boys to seal their passage to the next round.
"I want to play it as an isolated match".
When asked if he was glad the pre-match focus had not been on his relationship with Mourinho, he replied: "Thank you so much". There will be a day where we can not come back, so we have to grow up in our approach. They also consider him to be someone who isn't a team player, given his constant demands for the ball on the pitch, as well as the aforementioned.
However, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winning star was said to have had some basic indoor training on Friday, which suggests a minor niggle rather than a long-term injury.
Alexis Sánchez and Romelu Lukaku look set to be available.
"We have to play good, only one challenge in football is to play good, and have more chance to win. I don't know his answer".