The World Cup football turned out to be a sof for Kevin De Bruyne, but at Manchester City the Belgian midfielder found himself in no time. De Bruyne shone on Thursday evening with two assists against Liverpool (3-2) in the League Cup. The English football press and his coach Guardiola reacted lyrically.
Kevin De Bruyne played a sensationally creative match Daily Mail die Man of the Match De Bruyne rewards with an 8 out of 10, the highest score of any player on the field. “He quickly dispelled fears that he was out of shape after a poor World Cup with Belgium. Made two great assists and created a total of five chances with some great passes.”
The same tenor with the BBC. “Kevin De Bruyne looked a shadow of his normal self in Qatar as Belgium were knocked out of the tournament in the group stages, a disappointing early exit for a side that failed to live up to its high expectations ahead of the World Cup. Last weekend, De Bruyne still seemed uneasy as he sauntered around the field during the friendly victory over Girona, even as he scored. Against Liverpool, however, the 31-year-old was sensational. He provided the cross for Erling Haaland’s opening goal and his assist at the far post that gave Ake the winning goal was astonishing. The ball fell just over the head of Nat Phillips but perfect for his team-mate, who was barely two feet behind the Liverpool player.”
“De Bruyne was really excellent”, also thought The Sun. “He dressed up as Santa Claus for a club charity event last week and against Liverpool he handed out presents to his teammates: left, right and centre. What on earth went wrong in Qatar when its dismal Belgian team crashed in the group stage?”
Guardiola: “To find the fire in himself, he has to be a bit grumpy”
Also City-coachPep Guardiola enjoyed seeing De Bruyne’s transformation after the World Cup happen. “To find the right fire in himself, he just has to be a bit grumpy or upset,” said the Spanish trainer after the game. “Then an enormous energy is released in him. And when that happens… what a player: his running lines, his right foot, his assists, his goals. He is more than a player. I know it’s not easy to find this consistency every three days, but today he has something in him that says ‘i want to fight‘. When that happens, it’s Mr. Kevin de Bruyne. What else can I say? Over the past eight years he has done everything for the club, he is an absolute legend. He will forever be remembered as one of the best, best, best players at this club.”
A view shared by Liverpool legend and analist Jamie Carragher at Sky Sports. “He looks like a completely different player than at the World Cup. This is another player who ranks among the best players of all time in the Premier League. His performance today is great. He has prepared two goals and I feel he dominates every statistic.”
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