By Giuseppe Muro

Cesc Fabregas considers Manchester City to be one of Arsenal’s major rivals.

The captain returned to action by scoring Arsenal’s third goal in the 5-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night but he has already turned his attention to Sunday’s journey north to face the Premier League’s richest club.

Fabregas admits that a trip to Eastlands to face second-place City is in the same bracket as their more traditional tussles with Chelsea and Manchester United.

“Yes definitely [it’s like playing a main rival], they are improving. They have a lot of money, they are buying good players so obviously you expect them to be at the top level,” said Fabregas.

“It has always been difficult since I’ve been here to go to Manchester City. I remember my first few years it was difficult but obviously now they have some of the very good players in England. It will be difficult.

“We definitely [go into the game in a good frame of mind]. It’s really good. We have been suffering a little bit so it’s good to have a good advantage and a good performance like that before an important game like Sunday.

“For us, it is the same. You want to go game by game. That’s what we said at the beginning of the season. Not thinking ahead too much and that is what we are trying to do.”

The 23-year-old says he’s glad to be back playing again and admits his first game back went as well as can be expected as he eases his way back to full fitness.

“It was good, it’s always good to play for this team in this great stadium. It was a good opportunity for me to get the confidence back and see if my hamstring was good and I felt very good.

“It’s normal in the first game after a while. You are always expecting, thinking more than usual. You don’t do these movements as sharp as you are used to but it’s all part of the process of getting back.

“It was a good performance and a good game to come back."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
20 Oct 2010