Lethal Aguero shines but De Bruyne sup­plies pol­ish

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER -

Since his Werder Bre­men de­but in Au­gust 2012, Kevin De Bruyne has pro­vided 77 as­sists in Europe’s big five leagues, more than any other player in that time. Lionel Messi has 76. Manch­ester City have blown ev­ery other Pre­mier League team out of the wa­ter this sea­son but now the fo­cus switches back to Europe. The big ques­tion is can their breath­tak­ing form be trans­mit­ted to the Cham­pi­ons League? Af­ter a two-and-a-half month break from the com­pe­ti­tion, they re­turn to the con­ti­nent to face FC Basel to­mor­row night. Pep Guardi­ola could not have been handed a kin­der tie and it would be a huge shock if the Swiss cham­pi­ons were to knock out City, even if they have al­ready beaten Manch­ester United this sea­son. But once they reach the quar­ter-fi­nals, City will be asked the sort of ques­tions that they haven’t en­coun­tered in Eng­land. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bay­ern Mu­nich, and Ju­ven­tus are far too savvy and ex­pe­ri­enced to roll over in the way all of City’s do­mes­tic ri­vals have. Guardi­ola’s side have been bril­liant so far but repli­cat­ing that in Europe is an­other chal­lenge al­to­gether.

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