MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his club were lucky to have midfielder Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgian delivered an outstanding performance in the 5-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday.
“He is a complete player. We are a lucky team, a lucky club to have Kevin with us. This season he is in a good mood, maybe because he is a father. I am so happy with his performances and not just today,” Guardiola said.
Although four of City’s goals came after Liverpool were reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Sadio Mane for a foul on City keeper Ederson, there was no doubting the influence De Bruyne had on the game.
With City playing three at the back, two wing-backs and two strikers, it was left to De Bruyne and David Silva to be the creative force in Guardiola’s midfield and the Belgian in particular took on the responsibility perfectly.
It was his perfectly weighted through ball that found Sergio Aguero’s well-timed run for the opening goal and then De Bruyne created the second with a pinpoint cross from the left which was headed home by Gabriel Jesus.
“With his quality, his commitment, he learns, he is so intelligent. He produces huge assists,” said Guardiola when asked about De Bruyne’s performance.
“Last season he hit the post 15 or 16 times. He is quick. He sees the spaces on the middle or outside. He is good on balls, on the feet. He is good running, attacking the space.”
De Bruyne joined City two years ago when Guardiola made him one of his first signings after watching his impact for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga when he was in charge of Bayern Munich.
The midfielder previously played in the Premier League for Chelsea but was unable to make any real impression in just three appearances and he was loaned out to Werder Bremen before being sold to Wolfsburg.
Editing by Clare Fallon