The Belgian was on the scoresheet at the Etihad Stadium, levelling with a deflected effort, before Riyad Mahrez clinched all three points with a stunning solo strike.
Pep Guardiola's men claimed victory, despite recording the lowest amount of possession held by a team under his leadership, and De Bruyne was pleased to see his side portray their less recognised traits to grind out the win.
“A lot of teams have a lot of quality,” he reflected. “It's not that easy - people expect us to have 70% possession but these guys have a lot of quality.
"They work hard; they can keep the ball. They're doing really well. It's difficult to win the ball back from them.
"Maybe they had a little more of the ball but we created the better chances so we deserved to win, I guess.
"It shows the other side we have – we can control the game while defending.
“We had a couple of chances in the beginning - we didn't hit the target.
"Then they scored the goal and we scored two quick goals. In the second half, we kept it tight.
“We should have scored more to make the game easier.”
City’s triumph followed another late victory for Liverpool, who struck with five minutes remaining to snatch three points at Crystal Palace.
Asked whether the Reds’ win had added to the pressure, De Bruyne asserted City were focused solely on bouncing back to winning ways.
"We don't care what happens to the other teams,” he added. “We have to keep running.
"What we did the last two years, we know the hard work we have to put in.
"Other teams are catching up - it's normal. We try to maintain the level.
"It's not easy - we work hard, keep riding into the Champions League."