Premier League

Kompany talks up Manchester derby

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany has stressed the importance of Monday’s match.
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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany feels next Monday's derby against Manchester United has lost none of its importance.

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The Old Trafford showdown is not the title-decider that many may have anticipated earlier in the campaign with City all but out of the reckoning for the Premier League crown.

With the fading champions trailing United by 15 points with just eight games remaining and manager Roberto Mancini having conceded defeat, thoughts could easily switch to the FA Cup semi-finals.

But Kompany insists the derby remains a crucial fixture and City are determined to land at least one blow on their rivals this season.

The influential defender said: "A derby is a derby. I don't think we could care less about the league in that game.

"It is about who is going to be champions of Manchester - that is all it is."

The stakes were higher when the sides met at the Etihad Stadium last April with three games of the season remaining.

City went into the game trailing United by three points and faced the prospect that defeat would all but eliminate them from the race.

But Kompany's winner took them top of the table on goal difference and City, who had trailed by eight points just weeks earlier, held onto their advantage - just - to seize the title.

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Kompany, who admits he has hardly enjoyed a goal so much, said: "Last year had so much more to it. It was a derby and a big comeback from all of us.

"It is a completely different situation, today and last year.

"You don't get too many moments like that in your career, but you move on and hopefully I will score many more in the future.

"I have never been someone who has milked the result we had last year. Those things don't happen often.

"For me it is a one-off game and everything that has happened in the past has no importance whatsoever next Monday.

"It is about coming out on top in that game. I am looking forward to it and I think everyone else at Manchester City is too."

City were at their rampant best last time they visited Old Trafford in October 2011, running remarkable 6-1 winners.

The winning post may be in sight for United but, with a desire to avenge that last thrashing, Kompany knows there will be no easing up.

The 26-year-old said: "I don't expect Manchester United to be less motivated because they have this points gap between us where they are pretty safe.

"It will be like a one-off game, it will be like a cup final. There will be everything in it.

"For the neutrals we have enjoyed a couple of great derbies in the last couple of years.

"I can only wish the same with a happy ending for Manchester City."

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