Man City’s De Bruyne To Be Out For Six Weeks

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (L) chats to Manchester City's German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as he is substituted during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on January 20, 2021. Martin Rickett / POOL / AFP
Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (L) chats to Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan as he is substituted during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on January 20, 2021. Martin Rickett / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne could be out of action for up to six weeks, manager Pep Guardiola said Friday.

The Belgium star limped off just before the hour in the midweek victory over Aston Villa with a muscular complaint.

A scan revealed the extent of the injury, with DeBruyne now set to miss key Premier League matches against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur next month as well as Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Cheltenham.

“The doctor said we’ll review the scan today (Friday) which we’ve done and it will be between four and six weeks out,” Guardiola told a news conference.

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“We have to move forward. I’m not saying anything nobody knows about how important it is, but unfortunately for him and all of us, he is out for an important part of the season.

“We have to find a solution as everyone is struggling and we have to adapt.”

Meanwhile, Kyle Walker will also miss the Cup tie at fourth-tier Cheltenham after he too was forced off the field after suffering a injury against Villa.

But Guardiola was more upbeat about Walker’s prospects, saying: “Kyle had a big impact kick in his hips, but it was just a kick. He’s not available tomorrow but maybe for the next game.”

Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of Saturday’s match as well after the striker revealed on Thursday he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Guardiola added: “What we wish is for him (Aguero) to feel better. He felt uncomfortable for two or three days after his positive test, he felt quite tired and had symptoms. But he feels well and we want him to come back.

“For a long time we’ve missed our best striker. Like with Kevin we will have to manage until they come back.”

AFP

Man City Pay Penalty For De Bruyne’s Miss In Liverpool Draw

Liverpool’s English defender Joe Gomez (R) tackles Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (C) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 8, 2020.
Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester City were left to rue Kevin De Bruyne’s missed penalty as Liverpool escaped from the Etihad Stadium with a point for the first time in four seasons after a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

A flying start from the Reds was rewarded with Mohamed Salah’s 13th-minute penalty, but Gabriel Jesus levelled for Pep Guardiola’s men before De Bruyne failed to hit the target from the spot three minutes before half-time.

A share of the points between the sides that have combined to win the title for the past three seasons leaves Liverpool in third just a point off the top, while City sit five points further back in 12th but with a game in hand.

City had won 4-0 when the sides last met in Liverpool’s first game as English champions for 30 years in July, and the Reds started with an intent to make amends.

Diogo Jota retained his place after a stunning start to his Liverpool career, including a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 5-0 Champions League demolition of Atalanta.

However, Jurgen Klopp did not sacrifice Roberto Firmino for the Portugal attacker and instead named a front four also including Salah and Sadio Mane.

Klopp’s brave approach paid off in a blistering start from the visitors. Ederson rushed off his line to deny Jota inside the first minute, but the Brazilian was beaten on 13 minutes by Salah from the penalty spot after Kyle Walker upended Mane.

City, though, managed to compose themselves after going behind and pick the holes in the two-man Liverpool midfield that Klopp’s attacking approach left exposed.

Raheem Sterling should have squared to Jesus instead of going for goal as Alisson Becker blocked from the England international.

But Jesus’s showed why City have missed a natural striker for most of the season with both he and Sergio Aguero sidelined by injury with a stunning finish to level on 31 minutes.

The Brazilian flicked De Bruyne’s driven pass beyond Trent Alexander-Arnold before prodding beyond his international teammate Alisson.

City were now in the ascendancy as De Bruyne drilled a low shot inches wide, but the normally brilliant Belgian let Liverpool off the hook just before half-time.

Joe Gomez was penalised for handling inside the area after a VAR review. But De Bruyne missed his first penalty for four years when he pulled his spot-kick wide of the target.

The English champions nearly made the most of that reprieve straight away as Ederson had to save at his near post to deny Alexander-Arnold restoring Liverpool’s advantage.

The second period failed to match the thrilling end-to-end pace of the first.

Jota tested Ederson again early in the half, but it was City who more control and the better openings.

Jesus headed a golden opportunity wide before De Bruyne saw another sighter fail to dip in time from the edge of the box.

Klopp finally withdrew the off-form Firmino for Xherdan Shaqiri, but Liverpool suffered a setback when Alexander-Arnold was forced off with a calf problem.

Yet, already shorn of their talismanic presence at the back in Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s makeshift defence saw out the final half-hour with few problems to claim a vital point.

AFP

Masterly De Bruyne Inspires City Past Tame Marseille

Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Olympique de Marseille and Manchester City on October 27, 2020 at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille.  AFP

 

Manchester City made it two wins from two in their latest bid for Champions League glory as Kevin De Bruyne starred in a straightforward 3-0 win at Marseille on Tuesday.

The English side, who have never reached the semi-finals under Pep Guardiola, sit top of the early Group C table after their opening victory at Porto last week.

With De Bruyne running the show in midfield on his first start since returning from injury, City cruised past a largely ineffective Marseille.

Andre-Villas Boas’s men, playing in their first Champions League campaign since 2013, are rooted to the foot of the group after back-to-back defeats.

Porto sit second behind City after a 2-0 win over Olympiakos in Group C’s other match on Tuesday.

City, who have only won two of their opening five Premier League games this season, started with Ferran Torres up front in the absence of injured duo Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

The visitors dominated the early stages without creating many clear-cut chances, but were handed the opening goal in the 18th minute.

Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier’s dreadful pass put De Bruyne in the clear, and the Belgian squared for Torres to slot in his third City goal since signing from Valencia.

City appeared likely to win without any help from their opponents, but Marseille defender Leonardo Balerdi contrived to lose the ball inside his own area and was fortunate to see Oleksandr Zinchenko’s effort clip the base of the post.

The home side were much improved after the interval, though, and City goalkeeper Ederson was lucky to fumble a long-range strike from Florian Thauvin onto his post and behind.

But any hopes of a push for a late OM equaliser were put to bed 14 minutes from time.

Phil Foden stood a high ball up to the back post which Raheem Sterling nodded down for Ilkay Gundogan to score.

It was not long before De Bruyne collected his second assist of the game, as his low pass was tapped home by Sterling.

AFP

‘We Want To Fight With Liverpool’: De Bruyne Urges City Not To Slack In EPL

Kelvin De Bruyne
Manchester City’s Kelvin De Bruyne. Photo: [email protected] League

 

Kevin De Bruyne has urged Manchester City to make a fast start as they aim to win back the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola’s side finished 18 points behind champions Liverpool last season after making an inconsistent start to the season.

Having won the title two years in a row before last term, De Bruyne knows exactly what it takes to lift the trophy.

Monday’s 3-1 win at Wolves in their opening game was a solid beginning.

De Bruyne scored City’s first from the penalty spot before having a hand in Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus’s goals.

But the Belgium midfielder is well aware that City cannot afford to take their foot off the gas.

“If the title pace is the same as the last few years it’ll be hard. We want to fight with Liverpool. That’s what sport is all about,” De Bruyne told City’s website.

“With just two weeks of training, it was always going to be hard. But we kept it tight and I think we did really well and we know you have to start well.

“Wolves have been a bogey team for us, so to come here and do this performance is good.

“We were missing some players. We will go game by game, Thursday (in the League Cup against Bournemouth) is another one.”

 

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 19, 2020.
Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

It was City’s first competitive game since long-serving playmaker David Silva left the club and De Bruyne feels they have the players to cope without the Spaniard.

“Everyone has to play with their own quality. David (Silva) is the master of tight spaces, but in Phil, Bernardo (Silva), Riyad (Mahrez) and Raheem (Sterling), we have players who can do the job. But obviously he is a big miss,” De Bruyne said.

“We have so many attacking players, I can slot them in and they can do the rest depending on the formation of our opponents.”

AFP

De Bruyne Wins PFA Player Of The Year

Kelvin De Bruyne
Manchester City’s Kelvin De Bruyne. Photo: [email protected] League

 

Kevin De Bruyne credited the influence of Pep Guardiola after becoming the first Manchester City player to be named the Professional Footballers’ Association’s (PFA) player of the year.

The rest of the PFA team of the year is dominated by Premier League champions Liverpool with five players, while Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford was handed a merit award for his role in the fight against child poverty.

City trailed Liverpool by 18 points in the 2019/20 Premier League season but De Bruyne, who registered 13 goals and a record-equalling 20 assists, was voted the campaign’s top performer by his peers.

“This is a big honour, to be voted by your colleagues, competitors from other teams who you always play against on the field. That they vote for you for best player, it’s amazing,” said De Bruyne.

“It’s maybe strange that I’m the first one at City, seeing all the good players who played there before and who are still playing. But it’s nice to represent the club.”

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The Belgian midfielder praised Guardiola’s influence for giving him the freedom to shine after a 2018/19 season where he was dogged by injuries.

“We speak often about the team but in a lot of senses he knows when he gives the orders of what the team has to do that I will listen,” added De Bruyne.

“But then on the other side, he gives me a lot of freedom; I don’t know why that’s just the way it goes between us.

“He knows in one way I will always put the team first and then obviously if I can help myself I’m going to do that.”

Liverpool’s five-strong contingent in the team of the year was made up of Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk and Sadio Mane.

Burnley’s Nick Pope, Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu, City’s David Silva, golden boot winner Jamie Vardy, and Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were also selected.

Rashford forced the UK government into a U-turn over its free school meals policy during the lockdown, ensuring children in need would receive meals across the summer.

The England forward has since formed a child food poverty task force, linking up with some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets and food brands.

And on receiving the PFA’s special award, handed out for services to football, the 22-year-old insisted he is only just getting started on his off-field quest.

“What we’ve done so far, it’s only a short-term answer,” said Rashford.

“Me and my team behind me are just trying to find plans on how we can help these children for the rest of their childhood really, to find long-term answers to the problem.”

AFP

Man City Cruise To Victory Against West Ham

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 19, 2020.
Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Manchester City cruised to a 2-0 win over West Ham on Wednesday as Pep Guardiola’s side returned to action for the first time following the club’s shock two-year ban from European competitions.

Goals from Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne lifted City’s spirits as they cemented their hold on second place in the Premier League.

The Champions League and Europa League suspension for alleged financial fair play regulations drew a furious response over the weekend from City supporters who have long believed UEFA hold an agenda against their Abu Dhabi-owned club.

Yet the attendance at the Etihad Stadium for the visit of David Moyes’ struggling side was disappointing, with approximately 10,000 empty seats greeting the two sets of players before kick-off.

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That may have been due, in part, to the fact the fixture was rescheduled from its original date 10 days earlier due to storms.

Live TV coverage and gridlocked early evening Manchester traffic also did not help supporters arrive in good time for a fixture in which their team was seeking to close the 25-point gap to leaders Liverpool.

It was a curiously subdued atmosphere, therefore, rather than the expected frenzied demonstration of anti-UEFA rhetoric.

There were a couple of home-made banners proclaiming “UEFA Cartel” and “UEFA Mafia”, as well as chants of adulation praising City owner Sheikh Mansour and boss Guardiola.

There were also taunts to UEFA that “we’ll see you in court” and crude songs aimed at the governing body.

But not until Rodri headed City into a 29th-minute lead did City fans become truly animated as their team maintained their complete dominance against the visitors.

It is fair to say, however, that there will be a very different atmosphere when City next play at the Etihad in the Champions League, with Real Madrid the visitors on March 10 in the last 16-second leg.

Combative Attitude

City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano was clearly in a combative mood when discussing the approach to their latest confrontation with UEFA.

“The fans can be sure of two things. The first one is that the allegations are false,” said Soriano, who confirmed the club will take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so.”

Guardiola was equally defiant when asked to comment on the suspension before kick-off.

“The first moment was impacted but after a few hours we cannot control, we support the club 100 percent,” he said.

A second-half goal from De Bruyne at least ensured that City returned from the winter break, and five days of controversy, with the minimum of fuss.

However, it promises to be events in European law courts, rather than a football pitch, that has a greater impact on the club over the coming months.

AFP

Injured De Bruyne Out Of Belgium Euro 2020 Qualifiers Squad

Kevin de Bruyne

 

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was left out of Belgium’s squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers due to a groin injury, coach Roberto Martinez announced on Friday.

De Bruyne, 28, missed City’s midweek Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb after suffering the injury in the Premier League victory over Everton on September 28.

Former captain Vincent Kompany and Lyon defender Jason Denayer also miss out due to fitness issues.

There are doubts about goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, forward Romelu Lukaku and defender Thomas Meunier with Martinez saying a decision about the three will be made on Monday.

Martinez added he was “relatively optimistic” about Courtois who was replaced at half-time in Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Club Brugge on Tuesday due to a stomach problem.

The Red Devils sit top of their group unbeaten before hosting San Marino on October 10 before travelling to Kazakhstan three days later.

Belgium squad

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid/ESP), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Matz Sels (Strasbourg/FRA), Hendrik Van Crombrugge (Anderlecht)

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Dedryck Boyata (Hertha Berlin/GER), Timothy Castagne (Atalanta/ITA), Leander Dendoncker (Wolves/ENG), Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge), Thomas Vermaelen (Vissel Kobe/JAP), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang/CHN), Nacer Chadli (Anderlecht), Dennis Praet (Leicester City/ENG), Maxime Lestienne (Standard Liege), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City/ENG), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/ENG), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace/ENG), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid/ESP), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad/ESP), Romelu Lukaku (Inter/ITA), Dries Mertens (Naples/ITA), Divock Origi (Liverpool/ENG).

AFP

De Bruyne Sidelined With Groin Injury

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (L) vies with Everton’s French defender Lucas Digne during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on September 28, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne will miss Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb with a groin injury that could also see him miss Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Wolves.

The Belgian has been in sensational form for the English champions, scoring twice and providing nine assists in just nine appearances this season.

“Kevin De Bruyne suffered a groin injury in the win over Everton and will miss tonight’s game against Dinamo Zagreb,” City said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The extent of his layoff depends on how well he responds to the rehabilitation programme overseen by the Club’s medical staff.”

De Bruyne missed the majority of last season due to two serious knee injuries.

However, this latest setback is not expected to keep him out for long.

After Wolves’ visit to the Etihad on Sunday, City have a two-week layoff for an international break before travelling to Crystal Palace on October 19.

AFP

Man City Beat Cardiff To Leapfrog Liverpool In League Summit

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (C) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Cardiff City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England, on April 3, 2019.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester City beat Cardiff 2-0 on Wednesday to return to the top of the Premier League, one point ahead of Liverpool.

Kevin De Bruyne gave City the lead in the sixth minute, firing in from a tight angle, and Leroy Sane doubled the advantage for the defending champions with a sharp finish just before half-time.

READ ALSO: Toure And Sterling Blast Juventus Over Kean Abuse

In other English Premier League results;

Chelsea 3-0 Brighton (Giroud 38, Hazard 60, Loftus-Cheek 63)

Tottenham 2-0 Crystal Palace (Son 55, Eriksen 80)

Guardiola Hopeful De Bruyne Fit For Crucial Liverpool Clash

Kevin de Bruyne

 

Kevin de Bruyne could return from injury as Manchester City bid to inflict Liverpool’s first Premier League defeat of the season and put pressure on them in the title race, City manager Pep Guardiola said on Wednesday.

The return of De Bruyne would boost City’s hopes of beating Liverpool and reducing their lead at the top to four points.

It would also be a filip to their title defence which suffered a serious blow with three defeats in their last five league matches.

The 27-year-old Belgian midfielder, City’s player of the year, has endured an injury-affected campaign, restricting him to just six league appearances.

He was out of action from August until late October with a knee injury, then suffered a calf problem in early November that sidelined him for more than a month.

Having returned again in mid-December, he suffered a muscle problem during the defeat at Leicester on Boxing Day.

Guardiola, though, is hopeful De Bruyne can feature on Thursday as City look to drag themselves back into the title race.

“He trained today,” said Guardiola at his eve of the match press conference.

“Tomorrow (Thursday) we need another check in the morning but he is much better.”

 ‘The best team in Europe’ 

In contrast to City’s indifferent recent league record Jurgen Klopp’s side have won nine league matches in a row, and have the best defensive record, conceding eight goals in 20 matches this season.

During that nine-match winning run, Liverpool have kept six clean sheets and conceded just three goals, and Guardiola acknowledges his own team have to improve their defensive record, as well as becoming more ruthless in attack.

“You have to see how many chances we concede,” said Guardiola.

“We are the second-best team in Europe in terms of the chances we create, so we are not precise enough.

“In the past few games, we have conceded more goals than usual but the number of chances we have conceded is not too much.”

Guardiola has tried to play down suggestions defeat on Thursday would effectively end City’s chances of retaining the title they won with a competition record of 100 points last May.

“The reality is clear. We are seven points down, but it is the second game of the second half of the season, so there are a lot of points to play for,” said Guardiola.

“I have the feeling it is a big opportunity for us to reduce the gap.

“Everybody is asking what will happen if we lose but we are going to try to win.

“It is our chance to fight for the Premier League, to go as far as possible,” added the 47-year-old Spaniard.

Liverpool have dropped just six points all season, and Guardiola believes they are currently the most consistent team in Europe.

“It is Liverpool, the best team in all England in history.

“We can beat them. I know today nobody trusts us but it is what it is.

“They are in the moment the best team in Europe, in their consistency, the way they control the details in their game.”

AFP

Man City Sweat On De Bruyne After Knee Injury

Kevin de Bruyne

 

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne could face a spell on the sidelines after injuring his right knee in training, the Premier League champions said Wednesday.

The 27-year-old, who enjoyed a superb World Cup as Belgium reached the semi-finals, is undergoing tests to assess the seriousness of the injury.

“Kevin De Bruyne is undergoing tests on his right knee after sustaining an injury at training on Wednesday,” read a club statement on its website.

“The extent of the problem is not yet known and we will bring you further updates on Kevin’s condition in due course.”

De Bruyne, who has been at City since 2015, scored eight goals and provided 16 assists last season in a series of dynamic performances for the champions.

According to www.metro.co.uk, De Bruyne faces around two months out after suffering the injury when he caught his studs in the turf before leaving the training ground on crutches.

The Daily Telegraph said he had suffered knee ligament damage similar to the injury he sustained in a league game with Everton in January 2016 and which kept him out of the team for two months.

Due to being given three weeks off following the World Cup he did not play a role in the Community Shield win against Chelsea but came on for a cameo role of half an hour in the 2-0 opening Premier League victory over Arsenal last Sunday.

AFP

League Cup Just The Start For Manchester City – De Bruyne

League Cup Just The Start For Manchester City – De Bruyne
Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (2nd L) poses for a photograph with the trophy after their victory in the English League Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley stadium in north London on February 25, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Manchester City didn’t get carried away with their League Cup celebrations, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne revealed, with bigger targets in their sights for the remainder of the season.

City picked up their first silverware of the Pep Guardiola era by sweeping aside Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley on Sunday.

However, a second trophy in the Premier League seems merely a matter of time with City enjoying a 13-point lead over Manchester United with a game in hand.

And Guardiola’s men are also well set to make the Champions League quarter-finals after thrashing Basel 4-0 away in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

“It was quite mellow,” said De Bruyne of City’s dressing room celebrations just four days ahead of another meeting with Arsenal in the Premier League.

“It is very nice to win but it is just the beginning, we still have a lot to play for and Thursday is another game.

“It is very nice to already have a title in the bag, we have had a wonderful season until now and I think we fully deserved it.

“Now we have to go on and try to win the Premier League and do well in the Champions League.”

Guardiola’s revolution at the Etihad Stadium has built a team ready to compete for honours for years to come with a host of expensive young recruits like Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte.

However, it was three of City’s old guard who got the goals at Wembley as Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva sealed the victory.

And De Bruyne hopes their experience and that of tasting trophy success will spur City’s young guns onto greater heights.

“I think they help the younger lads to focus on what they have to do,” added De Bruyne.

“A lot of young players didn’t win a lot in their career.

“So it will help them to get the experience of playing this game, the way you need to handle it, the way you need to end it, yes it will help them in the end.”