Kevin De Bruyne puffed out his chest on behalf of his team after Manchester City took another step toward reclaiming the Premier League title with a 2-0 defeat of Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
De Bruyne neither scored nor assisted in the win, but the reigning Premier League Player of the Year played a pair of through balls that became goals and plunked the woodwork with a free kick in a Man of the Match performance.
Man City is just an unfair opponent to see on your favorite team’s docket right now, out-producing Leicester 1.98-0.28 in expected goals and not showing any signs of worry despite 63 percent possession and a 6-0 shots advantage producing just a 0-0 halftime scoreline.
“The first half we totally dominated,” De Bruyne said. “They had the once chance from Vardy but it was offside. It was basically one team playing. Second half Leicester did a little bit better but I think if you look at the 90 minutes, and it was 2-0, we deserved even more goals. After an international break, I think that’s really well done from the team.”
Man City continues to set the standard for defensive play, conceding fewer goals than any team in Europe’s top leagues… across all competitions. So despite playing more games than most teams, they still have the lowest goals conceded total.
28 – Man City have kept more clean sheets (28) and conceded fewer goals (26) in all competitions this season than any other side in Europe’s top five leagues. Foundation. #LEIMCI
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 3, 2021
Man City now heads into its Champions League quarterfinal versus Borussia Dortmund before meeting Leeds and heading to Dortmund for the UCL second leg. Then comes Chelsea away in the FA Cup semis, Villa away, and the April 25 League Cup final versus Tottenham.
Guardiola was asked about City’s depth delivering at every turn and the lack of truly poor performances. Guardiola credits the pressure that winning puts on players to keep up production in order to stay in the XI and 18.
And he added that Fernandinho’s gusto despite being a part-time player and captain is contagious, the veteran Brazilian registering two interceptions and three tackles while getting involved in 19 duels and seeing a terrific goal called back for offside.
‘When you are winning and winning, the guys that play know they have to play good to try to play again because the guys who played the day before were brilliant,” Guardiola said. “That’s a part of the competition is nice but the solidarity between them. … Just see our captain. You see Fernandinho play like he did today and the other ones must follow him. That’s why.”
🗣 "When you are winning, winning the guys that played know they have to play good to try and play again."
Pep Guardiola on why the rotation at Manchester City isn't affecting their level of performances pic.twitter.com/j0rYCO1pDz
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 3, 2021