Defender Nedum Onuoha believes Manchester City's victory in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final has piled the pressure on Manchester United ahead of Wednesday night's return leg at Old Trafford.
Roberto Mancini's men lead United 2-1 going into the derby clash, and Manchester-born Onuoha reckons his side have overtaken Liverpool as United's main rivals this season.
"They have other rivalries but this is a big deal for them," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"I think it's probably a bigger deal than if they were playing Liverpool at the same stage. There's a massive buzz around this match.
"It's the first time in a long time there's been so much pressure on United to beat us. I think we're in a good situation. But they will be more determined now because they know they have to win the game.
"No other result will get them through. It should be an interesting one for them and for us."
Two goals from former United striker Carlos Tevez in the first leg at Eastlands have City fans dreaming of their first domestic cup final appearance since 1981, but Onuoha believes it is important for his side not to guard their slender lead.
"If you start thinking of defending at Old Trafford it usually leads to bad things happening," he added.
"We have to attack. If we score the first goal it puts a lot more pressure on them. If the game gets stretched there are players on our side who will relish it."