Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Manchester City V Manchester United - BY SI­MON MUL­LOCK

MANCH­ESTER CITY mid­fielder Bernardo Silva paid trib­ute to Jose Mour­inho – and then warned the Manch­ester United boss that his ti­tle dream will be over if he loses to­day’s derby.

The 24-year-old Por­tuguese in­ter­na­tional reck­ons his com­pa­triot Mour­inho has put their na­tion on the foot­ball map dur­ing a glit­ter­ing coach­ing ca­reer that has brought him to Old Traf­ford.

But United go into to­day’s derby trail­ing Pep Guardi­ola’s reign­ing cham­pi­ons by nine points.

And Silva (be­low) reck­ons there will be no way back for the Reds if they suf­fer their fourth de­feat of the sea­son at the Eti­had.

Silva said: “Mour­inho rep­re­sents our coun­try in a very good way. It’s good for us, as a small coun­try, that we have peo­ple like Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Mour­inho rep­re­sent­ing us at a high level.

“I am like all Por­tuguese peo­ple in that I ad­mire Mour­inho a lot. But how many points are United be­hind us? I think it’s nine.

“And I just think, look­ing at the ti­tle race from this point, that, if they are al­ready nine points, then it is al­ready more dif­fi­cult for them to play for the ti­tle than prob­a­bly Liver­pool, Chelsea, Man City or even Tot­ten­ham or Arse­nal.

“I think that, not be­cause Man United are not a very good team, but be­cause it is al­ready very dif­fi­cult for them.

“It would be even worse for them if they were 12 points be­hind us – so we will try to make that hap­pen.

“We will try to win the game – not only to have a big­ger dis­tance to United, but also to try to keep the first po­si­tion.

“We want to keep the dis­tance to Liver­pool, to

Chelsea and to the other con­tenders.”

City lead the table by two points and are on course to eclipse last sea­son’s record­break­ing cam­paign.

Guardi­ola’s side have al­ready scored 33 goals in their first 11 games and con­ceded just four goals.

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