Liverpool - Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta believes
that his team's Wembley success in the League Cup final against Liverpool can
spur them onto further silverware at home and abroad.
Manuel Pellegrini's team face Liverpool again in the Premier
League on Wednesday, just three days after beating them 3-1 in a penalty
shootout in the cup final, following a 1-1 stalemate at the end of extra time.
City have nine points to make up on surprise league leaders
Leicester City and are also still very much alive in the Champions League,
following an impressive 3-1 last 16 first-leg away victory at Dynamo Kiev.
Zabaleta believes winning the League Cup, for the second
time in three years, will inspire them to additional success.
"We know that it's another competition, another cup is
gone, now we have time enough to be focused on the Premier League and the
Champions League," the Argentine right-back said.
"We know how important it is now to recover all the
players and most of them be fit for that period because we have a lot of big
games coming up now until the end.
"We need to try to win on Wednesday and get back on
track again. There are still 36 points to play for in the Premier League, which
is a lot of games.
"We were in this situation before a few years ago even
when we won the league that we were about eight points behind the leaders and
we still have a game in hand.
"It's time now to focus on the Premier League and try
to win on Wednesday."
On a dramatic weekend in the Premier League, Arsenal's 3-2
loss at Manchester United was a boost for City, but Zabaleta says that his team
must only focus on the trip to Liverpool as defeat could spell disaster.
Also read: Zabaleta out for at least a month, say Manchester City
- 'We can beat everyone' -
"Well, of course, if we don't win on Wednesday it will
be tough because we will miss a great chance to try to reduce the gap between
the leader and us," he said.
"We are Manchester City, we have talent and big players
to try to recover those points that probably we lost against Leicester and
Spurs. They won their games this weekend. They are two good teams.
"We cannot forget Arsenal. Everything is very tight at
the top of the table. It just depends on us."
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson admits there is a
collective and personal responsibility for him to lift his team-mates after the
disappointment of defeat at Wembley.
And the England midfielder pointed to the experience of the
2011-12 season, when Liverpool lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea but bounced
back to beat the same opponents three days later in the league, as inspiration.
"You have to try and take positives from it and learn
from these experiences," he said.
"There is still a lot to play for. In the league we have
to try and finish as high as we can and there is the Europa League. We have to
focus on what we can do this season and finish it well.
"Of course I will take the responsibility, but as a
team we've great character and personality. You saw that on the pitch, so there
won't be a problem moving forward.
"I feel when we play to the level we are capable of, we
can beat everyone. We left everything on the field (against City). We have to
do the same until the end of the season and there could be still success for
"It is hard. It is difficult. But that is life and
football and you have to deal with it as best you can. I've been in this
situation before. We beat Chelsea 4-1 after the FA Cup final. We need to
respond the same way."For
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