Oleksandr Zinchenko handed the captain’s armband for Manchester City’s FA Cup victory at Peterborough by regular skipper Fernandinho on an emotional night for the Ukrainian star amid Russian invasion
- Manchester City faced Championship strugglers Peterborough away from home
- Former Shakhtar Donetsk star Fernandinho was made captain for the FA Cup tie
- However, Fernandinho decided to hand the captain’s armband over to Zinchenko
- Man City manager Pep Guardiola says the club stood by Fernandinho’s decision
Fernandinho refused the Manchester City captaincy on Tuesday night, instead telling his club to give the armband to Oleksandr Zinchenko before he walked out with the Ukrainian flag at Peterborough.
Pep Guardiola described it as a great gesture of support for the 25-year-old left back, whose homeland is under siege from Russian forces.
When City announced their line-up an hour before kick-off, they named Fernandinho as captain. But the 36-year-old Brazilian told Guardiola he wanted Zinchenko to lead the team.
Oleksandr Zinchenko skippered Manchester City for their FA Cup win over Peterborough
The 25-year-old (second from the left) was handed the captains armband by Fernandinho
‘Our captain decided to give the captain’s armband to him to show how important is the situation,’ Guardiola said.
‘All of the club is behind this gesture, behind our captain, to represent his country.’
This was his first game for City since the war broke out in Ukraine. He and Peterborough captain Frankie Kent walked out of the tunnel holding his country’s flag together.
Fernandinho previously spent eight seasons with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.
Zinchenko managed to put his off-the-pitch turmoil to the side and played well
Pep Guardiola says the club were behind Fernandinho’s decision to hand over the armband
City’s Jack Grealish, who scored his side’s second goal in a 2-0 win, said of Zinchenko: ‘He is such a big character in the squad and has unbelievable quality. He is so under-rated as a player.
‘We have had to be there for him. It has been an extremely difficult time for him and for everyone associated with Ukraine. But he came out and captained the side. I think he did brilliantly.’
On City’s display, Guardiola said: ‘Apart from the first six minutes of the second half, the rest was really good. We knew how aggressive they are.’
‘Mahrez is paying the best of his career. We know the quality he has and he loves to play football. Jack has come back from injury and is at a real good level.
‘The victory was important. We have a duty to our fans, who have come a long way to get here.’
Fans in the stadium held flags in support of the Ukrainian defender on Tuesday evening
Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko hugged one another before kick-off on Saturday at Everton
Zinchenko and his wife Vlada Shcheglovam attend St Peter’s Square to protest (above)