De Bruyne can strike fear into PSG
Kevin De Bruyne’s return from injury might have come just in time for City to salvage their season.
The club’s £54 million record signing dazzled on his return from injury at Bournemouth with a display that will have Pep Guardiola purring in anticipation while striking fear into Paris St- Germain ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg in Paris.
“PSG are a great team and we’ve got to try to put in a big performance,” said the Belgian after his first outing since damaging knee and ankle ligaments against Everton in January. A big performance was just what they gave on the south coast, winning following 20 minutes of brilliance from Sergio Agüero, David Silva and De Bruyne.
“I only trained once with Sergio. He’s been away with Argentina,” said De Bruyne. “I’m very happy with the way we played. We’ve got to play like that more often.”
Therein lies the frustration. Had they performed consistently close to the level they showed in Dorset, perhaps the title race would already be over. As it is, this was their first away league win since Feb 2.
De Bruyne added: “We know it’s going to be difficult to get the title, but the main thing now is to win as many games as possible, be in the Champions League next year. This season has been too up and down.”
Attention turns to the Champions League, which City may have more chance of winning. “It’s a tournament, so you never know,” said De Bruyne. “If the team play at their best, we always have a chance. Our team always create chances. I don’t think scoring is the issue.”
They scored four at Bournemouth and Eddie Howe will be glad to see the back of De Bruyne.
“In two games against us, he’s been outstanding,” said the Cherries manager. “I always think there needs to be a certain amount of realism to our club. We’re new to the Premier League, we’re still trying to establish ourselves. Sometimes you’ll come up against teams that are just too good for you.”
Dazzling comeback: Kevin De Bruyne scored and was outstanding in a much-improved Manchester City performance