Manchester City victories will put pressure on United says Pablo Zabaleta

Both sides came through tough games at the weekend with three points

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta believes a string of victories will heap the pressure onto league leaders and bitter rivals Manchester United in the race for the Barclays Premier League title.

Both sides won difficult fixtures at the weekend with United beating Liverpool 2-1 and reigning champions City easing past Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

Those results mean Sir Alex Ferguson's side still hold a seven-point lead at the top of the table but Zabaleta reckons a decent run of form could see City close up and overtake United, like they did in dramatic fashion last season.

"We know that we are up against a rival in United who are in a very good moment," he said.

"They have seven points more, but that is not much in this league. There is still a long way before the title is decided and there is still a margin to lose and recover.

"We hope United have a few games where they lose some points and we continue on this route, taking three points all the time."

Zabaleta's team-mate David Silva also knows what has to be done and admits losing just one game between now and the end of the season could cost the champions their title.

When asked if there was a sense that City could not lose again this year he said: "Yes, because if we lose, then suddenly the gap is 10 points, and that is when it gets really difficult. "But if we keep fighting, we hope that they will falter."

United took control of the title race with a last-minute winner in last month's derby at the Etihad Stadium but Spain international Silva thinks City will continue to put pressure on the 19-time league champions.

He said: "All we can do, whatever the gap is, is keep going, every game, and put them under the pressure of knowing that if they lose a game or drop any points, we will get closer to them.

"That works the other way, of course, too, because if we lose we will get further away, but we cannot think about that. We just have to continue as we are. The league is still there to be won."

City confirmed yesterday morning that they will be appealing against the red card shown to captain Vincent Kompany in the win at Arsenal.

If the appeal is unsuccessful and the three-match ban upheld City would be without their skipper for Premier League matches with Fulham and QPR and an FA Cup fourth-round tie against either Crystal Palace or Stoke, whilst if the appeal is deemed to be a frivolous one an extra game could be added to the ban - meaning Kompany would miss the visit of Liverpool on February 3.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk