Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne must work hard to keep up with his team’s pacey young forward line but hopes former club Chelsea can be hauled in towards the business end of the Premier League season.
De Bruyne opened the scoring in Wednesday’s 4-0 demolition of West Ham, as Gabriel Jesus marked his full league debut with a goal and midfield stalwarts David Silva and Yaya Toure also hit the back of the net.
The Belgium international had Leroy Sane and Jesus haring off ahead of him at London Stadium when he intercepted Aaron Cresswell’s errant 17th-minute pass and he picked out the Brazil striker before receiving a return pass to slot beyond Darren Randolph in the West Ham goal.
“He is a very good young player who has settled in very well. For him it is a good boost to score and make an assist,” he said of Jesus.
“He is important already, but still very young. The three guys up front are very energetic and have a lot of speed, so it’s very difficult for the other guys to catch them!”
Every Angle of @gabrieljesus33‘s first goal in a City shirt!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 2, 2017
Keeping pace with Chelsea has proved a tougher task for Pep Guardiola’s fifth-placed side, who managed to cut the gap between themselves and the frontrunners to 10 points with victory in the capital.
Chelsea host Arsenal this weekend and, with City still having to travel to Stamford Bridge, De Bruyne hopes the season has plenty more twists and turns to come.
“I don’t know if we can catch them but we will try,” he was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“In the Premier League you have to be there every week and I am happy that all of our injured players are coming back as we have a lot of games ahead of us with the Champions League and cup.
“We need everybody but it will be a great time to have a little series of wins to put pressure on the rest.
“Football can go a little crazy at times. They are far ahead but if they lose three games and you win three games, you are there.
“Three games out of 16 or 17 is nothing so we have to do our thing and not look at what the rest are doing.
“If we win our games we will have a good place [on the league table].”
De Bruyne now has two goals in successive Premier League matches but has struggled to replicate the prolific form of his debut season at City, although he has weighed in with a heavy quota of assists.
DE BRUYYYYYYYYNNNNEEEEE!!! pic.twitter.com/XUKNDgLTaH
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 1, 2017
But the ex-Wolfsburg man is enjoying occupying a slightly deeper midfield role under Guardiola and believes City are moving back towards the form that saw them win their first 10 matches of the campaign.
“I am really enjoying my football, even more than I did last year, and the team is really clicking at the moment,” he added.
“We are getting better and better and can hopefully maintain that level.
“The way we played at West Ham was really good, very aggressive and organised and I felt we deserved to win 4-0.”
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