Updated: Sunday, 27th May 2018 @ 7:37am

Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta says United's Wayne Rooney ‘tried more than anyone’ in derby destruction

Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta says United's Wayne Rooney ‘tried more than anyone’ in derby destruction

By Tim Hyde

Manchester City’s right-back Pablo Zabaleta claims the Manchester derby means as much to Wayne Rooney as the historic rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool after his tireless performance on Sunday.

Rooney was by far the best United player on the pitch and was the only man in red to make a meaningful contribution in the damaging defeat at the Etihad according to Zabaleta.

He believes that Rooney tried harder than any of his team-mates giving his best efforts for the full 90 minutes.

“I saw Rooney. He was one of their main players, he tried more than anyone else in the Manchester United team," said Zabaleta.

“He says Liverpool is still the big game. But I saw him working so hard, so probably it proves this game is just as important to him as United against Liverpool.

“When the game is like that, and you see the team playing like that against a team like Manchester United, you know it's a special game.”

Rooney had publicly stated before the Manchester derby that the Red Devils most heated rivalry was still between Liverpool in spite of City being more of a threat to the league title.

Zabaleta’s title chasing side came out 4-1 victors on the day but the score-line could have been more embarrassing if not for a spectacular 87th minute free-kick from Rooney making the result slightly more bearable.

Rooney will likely feature in Wednesday’s heated clash against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup every fixture between the sides is heavily contested as losing isn’t an option for either side.

Image courtesy of CityTV, with thanks

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