Men's Team

‘Special De Bruyne must be a dream to play alongside,’ says Dickov

Paul Dickov says ‘special’ Kevin De Bruyne’s magnificent all-round display in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton once more illustrated his key importance to Pep Guardiola’s side.

The Belgian midfielder was at his inspirational best in what proved an absorbing Premier League encounter at the St Mary’s Stadium.

As well as providing the pinpoint assist for Aymeric Laporte’s second-half equaliser – the 80th of his Premier League career – De Bruyne also struck the post with a thunderous shot and inspired so much that was admirable about our work.

And for former City and Scotland striker Dickov – who was a special guest on Saturday’s latest Matchday Live show - it also demonstrated how De Bruyne must be a joy to play alongside.

KDB was like a man on a mission on Saturday,” Dickov declared.

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“A fantastic ball in for the free-kick, running the show, creating chances, getting shots off.

“It must be a dream as a centre half or forward knowing that that ball he produced for the free-kick is coming in.

“You can’t defend that. You can’t even look at the keeper and say he should come and get it or that the defenders should drop a little bit.

“We were looking at KDB’s goal against Chelsea the week before and saying how he uses the defenders as a guide for when taking his shot and he did it again at Southampton and was so unlucky not to see it go in

“It was so effortless but (what about) the power he got behind it as well and the accuracy.

“We keep saying it, but he is a special, special footballer and so important to the team as well.”

That point was amplified by fellow former City favourite Nedum Onuoha, who Dickov’s fellow special guest on the latest edition of Matchday Live.

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KDB’s ball in for the goal was just magnificent,” Onuoha added.

“It was like effortless into the perfect area and it was a well-timed run by Laporte, a good header. It was just weird as no one really celebrated and then you thought had it been disallowed?

“But that is the nature of this team, one goal is never enough.

“They wanted to get the second It was a great set piece and one of many great balls that Kevin put into the box.”

Though the draw finally brought our superb run of 12 consecutive Premier League victories to a halt, there was still much to commend in City’s overall display – a point amplified by Pep Guardiola after the game.

And given the impressive performance of the Saints and an intensive run of fixtures over the past few months, both Dickov and Onuoha felt the result was still to be admired.

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“In the great scheme of things, considering Southampton have done well against us - they played well at the Etihad, and then going 1-0 down early on on Saturday - I don’t think a point is a bad result,” Dickov added.

“In the second half I thought we were outstanding, I really did. We were creating chances, we hit the post, we hit the bar, shots were going wide, we were forcing Forster into making saves, a possible penalty.

“We’d love to go on and win every game and to have made it 13 straight wins.

“But when you are champions and up there, everyone is shooting at you and if you aren’t going to win the game just make sure we don’t get beat and pick up the point away from home.”

Onuoha echoed that view, adding: “Southampton have only lost one game at home all season in the league - when we look back that will be an important result.”

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