De Bruyne can strike fear into PSG

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - TOTAL FOOTBALL/BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - By Tom Pren­tki at the Vi­tal­ity Sta­dium

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

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