Kevin De Bruyne says Champions League rivals are wary of Man City

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Kevin De Bruyne believes Europe’s top sides are wary of the threat of Manchester City.

The Premier League winners underlined their early status as Champions League favourites with a crushing 3-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine on Tuesday.

Manager Pep Guardiola described some of City’s football as the best of his tenure but, if it served as a reminder of the club’s power and ambition, De Bruyne feels it is one that was hardly needed.

The Belgium playmaker said: “I think they are wary of us anyway.

“We lost against Lyon so it was important to recover and now we want to be first in the group. There are still three games to go and we have work still to do.

“We just try to win every game and see where that takes us but there are about 10 teams who could win it.”

City’s success, secured with goals from David Silva, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva, took them above Lyon to the top of Group F.

They are now well on course for a place in the last 16 ahead of Shakhtar’s return visit to the Etihad Stadium in a fortnight.

Although David Silva – who also hit the woodwork twice as City registered 24 shots – was the star of the show, De Bruyne also looked at ease.

The match was his first start of the season after two months out with a knee injury, and De Bruyne said: “I prefer to play than be on the sidelines, that’s for sure.

“I’ve worked hard to get back as quickly as possible and then you try to get back with the rhythm of the team.

“It went well with the injury. There were not a lot of complications. I’ve worked hard to be back and I’m happy to be here.”

De Bruyne did not go as far as Guardiola in hailing the performance, however.

He said: “We play so many games that it’s difficult to say that. Each game has different aspects.

“We should have scored more but to go away from here with a 3-0 victory is good.”

City, the Premier League leaders, are next in action on Monday as they face Tottenham at Wembley.

The match was originally scheduled for Saturday at Spurs’ new stadium but – with that ground not ready – it was switched.

It had to be staged on Monday because Wembley is hosting NFL at the weekend.

That has raised concerns over what state the pitch will be in and De Bruyne admits it could be tough.

Asked if he had played on an American football pitch before, he said: “Yes, in pre-season. It’s not nice, it’s going to be difficult.

“I’m not sure how it’s going to be. We hope it will be OK and we can play like we normally do.

“These games are the most important ones. We have to go and show our intent to stay on the top.

“They’ll try to do the same because they are close (to us). It’s a big one.”

Most popular

Barcelona's win is big confidence boost ahead of El Clasico, says Rafinha

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Rafinha insists Barcelona‘s 2-0 Champions League win over Inter Milan was the perfect preparation for their encounter with Real Madrid.

The midfielder, who was on loan at Inter last season, and Jordi Alba scored to maintain Barca’s 100 per cent start to the competition.

Lionel Messi – out with a broken arm – watched from the stands at the Nou Camp as Barca dominated the Group B tie on Wednesday.

Barca remain top of the group ahead of El Clasico on Sunday, with Rafinha ready to face Madrid.

“This result is a great confidence boost for all of us and when Sunday brings the Clasico we’ll be so up for it,” Rafinha told Movistar, with Ernesto Valverde’s side one point clear at the top of La Liga.

“We are very happy for the match, against a team that was going to make things very difficult for us, we played very well.

“The Champions League is special for us, although the other competitions are also very important.

“But also for the win, for the goal and for the intense motivation a night like this gives me.

“We did very well against a team we knew would cause us difficulties all night. To win like this, Barca had to produce very good football.”

Rafinha volleyed in Luis Suarez’s cross after 32 minutes and Alba wrapped up the win with seven minutes left.

Inter are now three points behind Barca in Group B following their first defeat in the competition this season.

They host Barcelona in two weeks needing to win to ensure they have a better chance of topping the group.

Most popular

Mauricio Pochettino refuses to blame Hugo Lloris despite red-card costing Tottenham win at PSV

Andy Sims 25/10/2018
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Hugo Lloris sees red in Eindhoven.

Mauricio Pochettino refused to blame Hugo Lloris despite the goalkeeper’s sending-off almost certainly costing Tottenham their place in the Champions League.

Spurs were leading PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in Holland with 11 minutes to go when Lloris charged out of his area and upended Hirving Lozano to earn a straight red card.

The 10 men promptly conceded an equaliser to leave both sides on just one point after three matches in Group B and facing the prospect of little more than a scuffle for third place and the Europa League.

PSV’s opening goal also came from a mistake, by Toby Alderweireld, but Spurs boss Pochettino laid the blame at his side’s failure to take their chances rather than the brain fades at the back.

“I think it’s easy to judge the game,” he said. “If you didn’t win following what happened then you don’t deserve to be in the Champions League.

“This type of game, when you dominate and are much better and have the possibility to win the game, at the end that can happen.

“An action that was our keeper Hugo sent off, and afterwards with 10 men you concede chances. With the chances they scored and then it’s 2-2. Clearly that’s the analysis.

“I’m not going to blame any player. If someone is to blame it’s myself, I am responsible for the team. Not the player.

“Players are there to play. The problem is when you are so good, you dominate the game and create the chances and you can’t kill the game.

“Then an accident from Hugo and the decision didn’t help us, and you draw and it puts our qualification for the next stage in a difficult position.

“Was it a red card? In my opinion I think no, but we cannot blame the referee.

“Now we need to win three games that we have to play and some results that help us to achieve a place for qualification – but it’s difficult.”

Spurs may have made their best start to a Premier League season but their European campaign has been beset by self-inflicted wounds, from the late collapse at Inter Milan to Lloris’ gaffe against Barcelona.

And when PSV’s opening goal arrived, shortly after Harry Kane had clipped the crossbar, it was also of Tottenham’s making, with last man Alderweireld caught in possession by Lozano who ran through to score.

Lucas Moura equalised before half-time and when Kane nodded in a cross from fit-again Christian Eriksen Spurs looked destined for victory.

But Lloris injected further drama into the tie when he raced outside the area and cleaned out Lozano to earn a straight red card.

It proved costly in the extreme as back-up keeper Michel Vorm held out for all of seven minutes before the ball reached former Newcastle loanee Luuk De Jong in the area and he prodded the equaliser.

“This result leaves us in the same position in the ranking,” said PSV coach Mark van Bommel.

“Of course we wanted to win. It was a heavy night for us. We were leading, but then it is 1-1 and 2-1 and we had some difficulties against a really strong opponent. In the end we have to be happy with a point.”

Most popular