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Nasri confident City can trump Porto's forced hand

Manchester City FC hold just a one-goal advantage over FC Porto but Samir Nasri told UEFA.com that such a lead will force the holders out of their counterattacking comfort zone.

Samir Nasri is confident Manchester City are in a strong position
Samir Nasri is confident Manchester City are in a strong position ©Getty Images

Behind in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie against FC Porto, Manchester City FC came back to lead ahead of Wednesday's return. Their 2-1 advantage may be slender, but Samir Nasri believes it will nevertheless force the holders to come out of their shell more than they would wish.

After Silvestre Varela had given Vítor Pereira's team the initiative on home soil last week, Álvaro Pereira's own goal and Sergio Agüero's late winner completed an impressive fightback by the Premier League leaders. "We managed to deal with Porto's attacks in the first half, even though we were behind at half-time," Nasri, who started at the Estádio do Dragão, told UEFA.com. "We had some chances to equalise during the first half, and also we did not concede a second goal, which would have been a blow.

"In the second half we said we needed to keep the ball a bit more, because this Porto team is not renowned for its defending but they are good at keeping the ball and attack well through their full-backs. Keeping the ball meant that they would come out, and that we could play behind them, and that is what happened for the first goal. After that goal Porto started to collapse, and we were controlling the game more in the second half."

Midfielder Nasri, slow to find his feet in north-west England since his summer move from Arsenal FC yet an increasingly influential figure under Roberto Mancini, is hopeful Porto's hand will be forced in the City of Manchester Stadium. "They are a very good counterattacking team but they won't be able to play like that at Manchester City because we have the advantage," said the 24-year-old French international.

"They will need to come out. I think we will need to press them really high, because they like to play the ball from the back. By pressing them really high, we can recover the ball higher and be more dangerous.

"In terms of players, they have [João] Moutinho who is a good midfielder, he's their playmaker. There's Hulk, who is very dangerous up front. I personally like James Rodríguez on the wing, he's a good dribbler and delivers quality crosses. There's Lucho [González], who has the experience of high-level games with Porto and Marseille; he's found a second youth by coming back to Porto."

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