Guardiola: 'Clever' De Bruyne crucial for Man City

By Russell Greaves 27 January 2019 5
Guardiola: 'Clever' De Bruyne crucial for Man City

Pep Guardiola lauded Kevin De Bruyne's impressive display in Manchester City's 5-0 FA Cup fourth-round win over Burnley.

The Belgian playmaker is steadily making his way back to fitness after a knee injury and produced a super outing at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

He set up Bernardo Silva's goal, scored from outside the box and provided the cross that Kevin Long turned into his own net.

It left Guardiola purring with praise for the 27-year-old.

"We know his quality," said the City boss. "It's not easy for the players when they are a long time injured, [trying to] get back into the rhythm, the pace.

"That's why we try to handle the minutes with the players as best as possible and we did it.

"Of course, [in this game] it was like we know Kevin can be. We need him because he's clever and so aggressive in his game. He helps a lot."

Reflecting on the game, which saw City match the scoreline they achieved against the same opponents in the Premier League in October, Guardiola said: "I'm really pleased for the commitment, and especially with all the games in our legs and minds.

"We have to improve a few things but we made good movements. I'm satisfied to be in next round and in the draw on Monday."

While the visitors were second best by a distance, they did have one glorious chance early in the second half when Matej Vydra robbed Nicolas Otamendi of possession but shot wide with only Ederson to beat. 

Clarets boss Sean Dyche said: "If he puts that in, I'm not saying we would win the game, but you don't get many golden chances and it just changes the feeling in the stadium and the energy in the sides.

"It is very difficult when teams like this play the way they do. Who is going to stop them winning everything if they are in that mood?

"They are a top, top team and if you catch them on a day like today they punish every mistake you make."

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