Magnificent Kevin De Bruyne Shines in Manchester City’s 3-1 First Leg Win Over F.C. Copenhagen

While it was not the vintage blowout we expected from Manchester City, it was a vintage masterclass display from Kevin De Bruyne, who started his first game in the UEFA Champions League this season after being sidelined from the start of the campaign. Although Manchester were still fairly decently well in each competition, barring the Carabao Cup, they sometimes lack the magic touch from midfield, causing Erling Haaland to feel like a passenger in many games. However, since Kevin De Bruyne’s return, the brilliant Belgian has slotted in like he never left, and this performance perfectly cements his return as the linchpin in Pep Guardiola’s side.

Kevin De Bruyne Is the Central Piece to Manchester City’s Rhythm

Starting his third match since returning from injury, Kevin De Bruyne conducted his show from the opening minutes as the Citizens were all over the home team, and they should have gotten an early lead inside 10 minutes. However, Kevin De Bruyne glanced his header wide off the post from just six yards out before Nathan Aké hooked over from close ranger.

Fortunately, Kevin De Bruyne quickly made amends in the 10th minute, as he ghosted into the ball to meet Foden’s cross and slot it into the far corner to give City the lead. After the goal, many thought it was the start of a massacre, but the Citizens faced a slight complication when Ederson gifted F.C. Copenhagen an equaliser with an uncharacteristic distribution.

With the game back on even footing, Kevin De Bruyne produced his second card trick of the night as he provided an unusual assist for Bernardo Silva. For context, his heavy touch worked in City’s favour as the ball ricocheted off goalscorer Mattsson into the path of Bernardo Silva for a delightful chip. As the game neared its end, it was just enough time for one last curtain call as Kevin De Bruyne did what he does best by cutting the call from the byline and finding a teammate, in this case, Phil Foden, for City’s third. With that, the Kevin De Bruyne show ended, and City will head to the second leg with a two-goal advantage.

Kevin De Bruyne Admitted He Still Needs Some More Minutes to Return to His Best

Despite his MOTM performance and registering two goals and five assists in seven appearances since his comeback, Kevin De Bruyne told TNT Sports that he is still far from his best. “I’m just trying to play good. It’s been a long five or six months, but I’m just happy to be back, helping the team win games and be at my best. I feel alright. Obviously, I still need a couple more games and minutes. I’ve not played 90 minutes for almost a year, but I’m getting there and feeling good, and the level is good enough for the moment – so I’m happy.”

As for his team’s performance and his opposition’s determination, the dazzling Belgian replied: “It’s tough. We’ve played here a couple of times, and the atmosphere is great. We had to respect them. We started really well. We made one mistake, and they capitalised, but I thought we played really well. We scored the third goal, and it’s a little bit of an advantage now.”

His gaffer, Pep Guardiola, also had some kind words for his star player as the Spaniard praised: “Yeah, extraordinary. The first goal was amazing. The right pass and tempo from Phil Foden. The biggest players appear on the biggest stages. It’s the hour of truth. We started well. We have to do our job and finish it. I’m just really pleased with the result.”

Also Read: Marcos Llorente’s Last Minute Equaliser Ensures Atlético de Madrid Stay In the Top 4

Can Manchester City Replicate Their Treble-Winning Season?

With the return of Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland, and the purple patch of Phil Foden, Manchester City are on course to replicate their treble-winning season, at least on paper. 

However, this season may be the closest other teams will run at Manchester City, as Arsenal and Liverpool both have added reasons to win the Premier League this season while Real Madrid are still in the UEFA Champions League, and we know how they can always somehow win the European trophy.

Regardless, the competition this season is looking much closer than before, and you would not want to miss the title runs. Thus, head to AsiaSport for the latest coverage and daily high-definition highlights of every match occurring in Europe’s top five leagues while covering the Saudi Pro League and the MLS.

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