Sunday, March 26, 2023

De Bruyne praises Man City´s calmness and patience in narrow Atletico victory

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 5 Apr 2022


Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City were rewarded for their calmness and patience during the Champions League quarter-final first leg 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.

De Bruyne marked his 50th appearance for the Citizens in the competition by striking the only goal at the Etihad Stadium.

The Belgium international latched onto Phil Foden’s delicious throughball 20 minutes from time, before neatly slotting past Jan Oblak.

City had endured a frustrating first leg as they struggled to break down their opponents’ typically stubborn defence.

But their persistence eventually paid off with Pep Guardiola’s side taking a slender lead to Madrid for the return fixture next week.

“It was a very hard game,” De Bruyne told BT Sport. “They play so defensively tight and solid; that’s their way of playing. I think we played good under the circumstances. 

“They played almost five at the back and five in midfield, so it’s very hard to find the spaces.

“You need to be calm, patient, and try to find the spaces. You’re going to lose balls because it’s so compact, but we had a couple of chances in the second half and managed to get one.

“I expect similar over there [in the second leg]. If the game is tight, they will have to attack a little more.”

Diego Simeone’s men arrived in Manchester for the second time in a month – having defeated United at Old Trafford in the previous round – protecting a six-match winning streak, and will fancy their chances of turning things around next Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Guardiola insists that the Premier League leaders do not intend to sit back and rest on their laurels at Wanda Metropolitano.

Asked if he was happy with his side’s performance, the head coach told BT Sport: “A lot. 

“We played an incredible top side who are difficult to face, but it is a good result. We had chances to score a second and third.

“It is not easy to face a team with a lot of experience in this tournament. 

“We will go there to score and try and win again.”


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