Sunday, October 2, 2022

De Bruyne demands Man City replicate Liverpool performance heading into season finale

SoccerNews in English Premier League 10 Apr 2022

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Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City had the upper hand in their 2-2 draw with Liverpool as he called on his side to produce similar performances with seven Premier League games left to play.

City needed just five minutes to edge ahead when De Bruyne, via a deflection from Joel Matip and the right post, cannoned in his sixth goal in as many games before Diogo Jota equalised.

Gabriel Jesus restored the lead in the first half for Pep Guardiola’s side with his fifth goal in all competitions against Liverpool, only scoring more for City against Everton (eight).

That was the first time Liverpool had trailed at half-time in the league all season, but Sadio Mane levelled immediately after the break at the Etihad Stadium to keep the title race alive.

City remain a point clear of Jurgen Klopp’s side and, with a return leg in their Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid and an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool, De Bruyne urged his team to play as well as they did on Sunday.

“It was hard. I think we played excellent. I know we conceded two goals but the way we played today was very good; we should have scored more but it is what it is and we keep going,” the Belgium star told Sky Sports.

“I think we should [have won]. Obviously the way the second half started that is the disappointment but we know in a couple of chances that Liverpool can score.

“We created enough chances to win the game but it didn’t happen.

“I think it demonstrated how close it is between the two teams, but we played really well and had the upper hand even if we didn’t win – that can happen. This is the way we need to play and approach the other games.”

As for whether the clash at the Etihad Stadium would decide the destination of the title, De Bruyne suggested City had not secured the advantage by earning the draw.

“No, I think it is similar. I know a lot of people spoke saying whoever wins the game wins the title, but I don’t think either team would think that way – it’s way too hard,” he responded when asked if the result was decisive.

“The schedule is way too hard for both teams to win all the games, so we’re going to try, but I think the way we showed today was the way we need to move forward.”

Substitute Riyad Mahrez could have snatched victory in the closing stages but wastefully chipped over, though De Bruyne holds no grudges.

“It’s a clear chance, obviously. Riyad chose to chip the goalkeeper and if it goes in it’s a wonder goal, but it didn’t go in today, so that’s it,” he said.

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