"It's a must-win game".
The mood of those Manchester United fans watching the game against Arsenal when that red card was brandished to Paul Pogba suddenly changed from a gleeful one to a rather dreary one, despite their team triumphing at the home of a rival by an incredible 1-3 scoreline. A win for City would mean they go 11 points clear at the top of the table.
The arrival in Manchester of the two pre-eminent managers of the age stoked the embers of a bitter personal rivalry that had crackled with blistering intensity during the two years they spent in opposing camps in Spain.
And against a side like City who would be looking to punish United for the slightest of gaffes in midfield, United can go into the clash assured of a better defensive covering in midfield with the likes of Herrera and Blind.
It's a credit to the Spaniard that he forced his way into Mourinho's plans, becoming the player the manager often relied upon for good performances. The game will be decided on how well United are able to resist City's endless waves of attack.
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Recent results, however, give United reason for optimism.
If United are able to stifle City, there is plenty of evidence they can score against them.
Ogbonna's goal last weekend was the only goal that City has conceded to a header but it had been coming, with Leicester, Huddersfield and Southampton wasting great opportunities in the previous three matches from balls into the box.
It was hardly ideal preparation for one of the most intense fixtures in their schedule but Fernandinho thinks the loss could be just the jolt the City team needed to stave off any complacency. Unfortunately, I won't be playing but I will be there to help the team mentally.
"United will be confident going into the game because of what has happened this weekend for City, even though it has been a good week for City too, as they've scored three late winners and have taken maximum points".