Pep Guardiola lauded Kevin De Bruyne’s masterful midfield display during Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Leicester City.
The Premier League leaders took another step towards glory thanks to second-half goals from Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus that only told part of the story of their dominance at the King Power Stadium.
De Bruyne rattled the crossbar with a free-kick midway through the first half and was named man of the match after a majestic throughball scattered Leicester’s defence for Jesus’ game-sealing effort 16 minutes from time.
“Quite good, huh? It’s not the first time he has done it,” Guardiola said reacting to that contribution during his post-match news conference.
“Next game he has to score a goal. Next game he is going to do the passes and score a goal.
“Kevin, in this situation, is extraordinary.”
De Bruyne also recovered possession 14 times, more than any other City player and won 10 of his 18 duels.
“This is one of our identities. When the most talented players in the world are able to do this kind of job,” Guardiola said of the playmaker’s selfless contribution.
“There is no negotiation on this. You can play really badly but in terms of running and pressing for your team-mates until the end, we have to do it.
“Do it for your mates, because in the next action your mates are going to do it for you.
“We cannot deny that in the five years we were together the players we had run and fight every single game. That is one of the things I am proud of the most.”
28 – Man City have kept more clean sheets (28) and conceded fewer goals (26) in all competitions this season than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues. Foundation. #LEIMCI pic.twitter.com/gV6qF0K85n
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 3, 2021
This sense of togetherness was underlined by the celebrations that followed Mendy’s opener – a strike that appeared to particularly popular throughout the City squad.
“Benjamin is especially beloved by all of us, especially by his team-mates,” Guardiola added.
“He is a special person, the way he lives. He has an incredible heart. When a player is honest like he is, the people love him so much.
“He didn’t play much lately, today he played and made an incredible goal. The manager must be so good for him to score a goal with his right foot – oh my God!”
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