Pep Guardiola Lauds Kevin De Bruyne’s Heroics as Manchester City Triumph over FC Copenhagen

De Bruyne’s Stellar Performance Propels City Towards Champions League Quarter-Finals

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola showered praise on Kevin De Bruyne for his exceptional display, as the Belgian maestro orchestrated City’s 3-1 victory over FC Copenhagen on Tuesday, edging them closer to the coveted Champions League quarter-finals.

De Bruyne’s influential presence was felt throughout the encounter, as he played a pivotal role in all three goals that secured City’s triumph. His early goal set the tone for City’s dominance, only momentarily disrupted by Magnus Mattsson’s equalizer against the run of play. However, Bernardo Silva swiftly reinstated City’s lead before halftime, and Phil Foden sealed the victory in stoppage time, courtesy of De Bruyne’s assist.

The 32-year-old Belgian, who endured a five-month spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring tear suffered at the start of the Premier League season, has exhibited remarkable form since his return last month. With two goals and seven assists in seven appearances, De Bruyne’s resurgence has been nothing short of remarkable.

Guardiola, reflecting on De Bruyne’s stellar statistics, expressed his admiration, stating, “Extraordinary. The biggest players love to appear in the biggest stages. It’s the hour of truth when you are in the last 16 of the Champions League and we start well.”

Manchester City’s victory extends their winning streak to 11 consecutive games across all competitions, signaling their intent to replicate last season’s historic treble of Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup triumphs.

Despite Copenhagen’s commendable journey to the last 16, having eliminated Manchester United and Galatasaray in the group stages, they struggled to match City’s intensity, lacking sharpness due to a two-month competitive hiatus.

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Reflecting on the match, De Bruyne acknowledged Copenhagen’s resilience but emphasized City’s superior performance, stating, “We played a really good game. In the second half, we created a lot of chances, could have scored more and luckily in the end we scored the third one, so it is a little bit of an advantage now.”

The match also witnessed a setback for City, as Jack Grealish, handed just his second start of the year, succumbed to a suspected groin injury after just 15 minutes.

City’s dominance was evident from the outset, as they maintained nearly 80% possession and limited Copenhagen’s forays into their half. Despite a brief lapse resulting in Copenhagen’s equalizer, City’s resilience and attacking prowess ultimately secured a comfortable advantage heading into the second leg.

With crucial Premier League fixtures against Manchester United and Liverpool looming, City’s comprehensive victory provides a timely boost as they aim to extend their unbeaten run in European competitions to 21 games and continue their pursuit of continental glory.

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