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De Bruyne ranks comeback title triumph among most special moments

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 May 2024

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Kevin De Bruyne ranks his sixth Premier League title triumph as one of his most special, having fought back from injury to help Manchester City make history.

City became the first team to win four English top-flight titles in a row on Sunday, with Phil Foden scoring twice and Rodri also on target in a 3-1 final-day win over West Ham.

That result ensured they edged out Arsenal by two points at the summit, despite the Gunners fighting back from 1-0 down to beat Everton 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.

De Bruyne finished with four goals and 10 assists in just 18 Premier League appearances in 2023-24, having suffered a hamstring injury against Burnley on the opening matchday that kept him out until January.

Speaking to Sky Sports in the aftermath of City’s trophy presentation, De Bruyne said: “It feels as special as the first one, to do something historic is amazing.

“For me this is one of my most special. I had a tough year, being out for six months, but then to come back in the way I could, to help the team win and be at a good level, it was a great achievement personally.”

De Bruyne’s comeback came in a 3-2 win at Newcastle United in January, when he came off the bench to score City’s equaliser and supply a sensational pass for Oscar Bobb’s last-gasp winner.

He believes that game was something of a turning point in the campaign, saying: “I can’t speak for the team but for me it was like a perfect kickstart.

“I’m just happy that I came back in a run where I could help the team. They had done a great job in the first half of the season, and we’re here again.

“The manager sets the tone but this team… we just enjoy playing with each other. It’s not a team with big egos, we run like crazy, we want to perform well and we just enjoy it.”

City have now gone unbeaten through their last 35 games in all competitions (29 wins, six draws), the longest run ever by a Premier League team, and they could yet secure a double as they face Manchester United in next week’s FA Cup final.

Only Nottingham Forest, who went 40 without defeat between March and November 1978, have ever enjoyed a longer streak in English top-flight history.

Speaking alongside De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva was asked which of his six title triumphs meant the most to him.

“All of them, but the first one is always the most special,” he said. “Obviously doing four in a row, something that was never done before, is unbelievable.

“The margins are so small. We beat Liverpool in two seasons by one point, then Arsenal this season by two points, we’ve been lucky enough to have these small margins.

“Four in a row is such a special achievement. We’re so, so proud, and so happy.”

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