Oleksandr Zinchenko warns Manchester City that Bristol City have 'showed us they can beat us'

The young winger, filling in at full back, believes City must be wary of the Championship outfit

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Monday 22 January 2018 12:56

Oleksandr Zinchenko has warned his Manchester City team-mates that their EFL Cup semi-final opponents Bristol City are more than capable of beating them.

City travel to the south-west for Tuesday night’s second leg with a 2-1 advantage after Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time winner made the difference at the Etihad a fortnight ago.

Bristol City took the lead that night through a Bobby Reid penalty and caused Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders plenty of problems with an adventurous, counter-attacking approach.

The Championship promotion contenders knocked Manchester United out at Ashton Gate in the previous round and Zinchenko, one of City’s best players in the first leg, believes he and his team-mates must guard against complacency in order to avoid the same fate.

“We already know about them as the first game was not so easy,” he said on Saturday, after City’s 3-1 victory over Newcastle United. “They defended well and at Bristol it will be a more difficult game than here.”

“United losing there was a surprise for us but to be honest everyone who watched the game could see Bristol City played well,” Zinchenko added. “They have showed us they can beat us.”

The 21-year-old, a natural winger, has had to fill in at left back recently with Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph sidelined through injury.

Saturday’s start against Newcastle was his first in the Premier League and, despite being caught flat-footed for Jacob Murphy’s consolation goal, the Ukrainian was widely credited for his performance.

“Firstly I am happy for the team and then I have to look at my own game,” he said, when asked how he felt his first Premier League start had gone. “I made a lot of mistakes and I am still learning but for me it was important that we won.

“Full back here is a special position because sometimes you have to go inside to control the ball. We are still learning, and you have to be focussed all the time.”

Zinchenko added: “To be honest I am not so young – 21 is a good age. For example, Brazilian Ronaldo at 20 was already one of the best players in the world. So 21 is not so young.

“It's a big pleasure to be part of this team. Before, when I didn't play for a long time it was not so easy but I had to be professional and wait for my chance.

“This season is not so easy but we can win every title – we have to keep going and we are on the right path.”

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