Men's Team

De Bruyne: We were rewarded for our patience

Kevin De Bruyne insisted City’s patience in possession was a crucial factor behind our second half comeback against Paris Saint-Germain.

The UEFA man of the match's inviting ball into the box evaded everyone on the hour to nestle into Keylor Navas’ far corner, cancelling out Marquinhos’ headed opener for the hosts.

And just seven minutes later Riyad Mahrez completed the comeback, finding a gap in the PSG wall to curl home a pinpoint free-kick and hand us a crucial 2-1 win in our Champions semi-final first leg.

City had been under the cosh for a large period of the first 45 after the French champions had drawn first blood, weathering the storm before mounting a memorable comeback after the break.

And the skipper revealed that the half-time message circulated around a more measured approach on the ball, which helped Pep Guardiola’s men on our way to victory.


He said of the discussion in the dressing room: “Just to play a little bit more with the ball, I think the first half we were too rushed.

“We wanted to go forward too quickly and that’s not the way we are set up.

“Second half we did really well, we tried to find the spaces more patiently.

“I think the second half was much better, I think we put them under pressure.

“They're a really tough team to play against and I think the progression we made as a team was good.”

While Mahrez will take the plaudits for his winning contribution, it was De Bruyne’s tantalising ball into the box which initially breached PSG’s stubborn rearguard.

The Belgian admitted to an element of fortune in our equaliser, but was also quick to stress that anything can happen when a ball is floated into that corridor of uncertainty around the six yard box.

“It’s set up in the perfect position and is so difficult for the keeper because he always expects someone to touch it,” our captain reflected.

“It was great for us, and I think we kept going and obviously with the second goal with Riyad, it’s good for us but there’s still a game to go so we have to concentrate on that.”


It looked like De Bruyne would also step up to take the free-kick which eventually won us the tie in the French capital.

However, after a quick discussion with Mahrez, our captain stepped aside to allow the Algerian to take it.

And the Belgian lifted the lid on what was said between the two ahead of the set piece, before our winger snuck home a crucial second away goal.

“He asked if I could take it and I said if you believe in yourself you take it,” he revealed.

“I feel confident in all of my team and he scored the goal.

“So who am I to say something about that!”

While City should be delighted with a memorable away performance, a place in what would be our first Champions League final is far from a foregone conclusion.

Mauricio Pochettino's men were runners up in last season’s campaign and swept aside the reigning Champions, Bayern Munich, in style to reach the last four this term.

De Bruyne accepted that plenty more work still needs to be done if we are to reach this season’s final in Istanbul, but believes we are up to the task.


He said: “We know there's going to be moments in the game where we suffer.

"The quality at this stage, we know how good they are so you have to set your mind that you are going to have to run hard and work hard for the team.

“But we know we also have quality to play good against them and that’s going to happen in the second game also.”