Silva: 6-1 triumph changed this city
DAVID Silva believes City’s 6-1 win against United at Old Trafford in 2011 marked the beginning of a shift of power in the city.
The Blues went on to win the Premier League title that season – their first top-flight crown in 44 years – and have added two more since.
Pep Guardiola’s side lifted the trophy with a record 100-point haul last season and broke all manner of Premier League records in the process, while United have failed to mount a serious challenge since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
The Reds’ highest league finish since the Scot’s retirement came last season when Jose Mourinho’s side finished second – 19 points shy of City – and Silva says the Blues have now earned universal respect.
“It’s not fear. I think it’s respect. Respect because we’re doing things well,” the City midfielder said, when asked how he feels the Centurions are perceived.
“United commanded a lot of respect when I first came here. But I think that has changed from when we won there 6-1 and the mentality changed a little bit that day. Now I think we are held in great esteem.
“You remember a bit of every derby you play in but I think given that it was at United’s ground and the respect that United commanded at that time, it is one that will go down in history.”
City have won two and lost three of the last six derbies ahead of the fixture’s 177th edition, and Silva is well aware of what is at stake at the Etihad tomorrow.
“It means a huge amount,” the Spaniard explained.
“A derby is always important and I know that when your team wins, the following day you have the bragging rights at work and with your friends. And there’s the chance to wind up the red half a little bit.
“The important thing is to win and to concentrate on our football. If the result is a decisive one then all the better.
“We’ve been playing well and creating lots of chances but the main thing is just to try and get the three points.
“Our confidence is high but derbies are totally different – they’re one-offs. We’ve got to be at 100 per cent if we want to win.”
City squandered the chance to confirm their Premier League title win against United in April when they let a two-goal lead slip at the Etihad, and Silva admits that league positions are rendered meaningless on derby day.
“Every derby match is different each year just like every season is different,” the 32-year-old said.
“They are always difficult regardless of what position each side is in in the table. Last year at their stadium we won and they won at the Etihad. Each one is totally different.”
Silva was speaking in his role as an ambassador for Gran Canarian resort ANFI, which is celebrating their 30th anniversary.
David Silva celebrates with James Milner during the 6-1 hammering of United in 2011
Draws: 52 United: 73