you had to laugh Pep Guardiola was telling Kevin De Bruyne to keep it simple and within four minutes of play starting, we had Manchester City’s talismanic midfielder attempting an audacious 25-yard pass with the outside of his right boot.
The night, the praise and the matchball probably belonged to Erling Haaland, A man is making records at breakneck speedBut it was also a timely reminder of the special joys of De Bruyne, a midfielder who is as special as City’s Nordic goal machine, a unique striker.
city robber brothers Steamroller RB Leipzig With a ferocity that at times felt brutal and unfair, and if Guardiola can use his two most precious assets to this effect over the remainder of the contest, it will raise hopes in Manchester’s blue quarter, finally Wait till the season ends for Champions League glory.
De Bruyne has flown hot and cold several times in this period – the incredible consistency of recent seasons punctuated by some uncharacteristically flat, sometimes voracious performances – and a player who heretofore was always indispensable to Guardiola, He has found himself doing more than just warming the bench. Or expect in the last few months. This, again, marked a disastrous comeback.
Perhaps it was little more than a coincidence that De Bruyne should play well only one day after his manager effectively told him to be smart, do the basics better, not turn the ball over cheaply, and up his game. Raise but it was not felt or seen. like a coincidence. Quite the contrary, really.
De Bruyne was fired; A man with a point to prove. Say whatever you want on the edge, in the area, but that thirst for destruction was clearly visible on his face. like holland, You could almost taste his appetite. He didn’t just want to win, he wanted to take a devastating ball to his opponents, to make them suffer.
The way he pressed and powered after every ball, flew into every tackle, surrounded poor Leipzig and even the way he beat Slavko Vincic after the referee failed to give him a free-kick. Torn down, it was clear. De Bruyne was booked for his trouble. City, perhaps it is worth remembering, were already 6–0 up by that stage. But De Bruyne’s appetite was insatiable. Perhaps Guardiola should prod him a little more often.
When the board went up a few minutes ago and Guardiola singled out the changes, you could see De Bruyne and De Bruyne as a man who was desperate not to have his number called. Haaland was withdrawn, and so were John Stones and Rodri, but De Bruyne had a desire to continue to punish and so did not give Leipzig the suppression they desperately needed.
He was still banging the drum by the 90th minute and capped his performance with a goal of rich qualification, cushioning Riyad Mahrez’s pass with one touch, moving the ball to his right with a second to spare and then lofted a 20-yard completion into the top corner. Third to ease Leipzig’s misery.
There’s an immense beauty in watching De Bruyne grab a play and bend it to his will, especially when he goes for the juggling act. Take his role in City’s second goal – which was the perfect display of the relentless Haaland-De Bruyne dynamic. For De Bruyne’s part, there are left-footers who may struggle to control a bouncing ball even on the run. Then the next touch, also from his left, set up the shot, which he took from his left and hit the crossbar before Haaland headed in the rebound.
When De Bruyne’s tail turns up, you can bet your bottom dollar that Haaland will too and there’s something quite awe-inspiring about watching these two juggernauts take on the defense with so much pace, power and accuracy. It will certainly be interesting to see how other managers use the pairing when given the opportunity. Will they play faster and more directly? Here Guardiola got the best of all worlds, a potent mix of control, control, control and fast and furious football, signed, sealed and delivered by his Buldón brothers.