Kevin De Bruyne

Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Guardiola confirms De Bruyne out for Wolves clash

Leave a comment

Kevin De Bruyne is set to miss Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday (Watch live, 9 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com), manager Pep Guardiola confirmed on Friday.

[ MORE: Top Premier League storylines: Week 8 ]

De Bruyne missed out on Man City’s Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday due to a groin injury and the Belgian midfield maestro hasn’t recovered in time, forcing him to miss a second consecutive game. Guardiola has said, however, that the injury isn’t serious and the player isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time.

“He is not fit,” Guardiola said in his press conference on Friday. “After the international break he will be ready. It is not a big problem.”

[ EUROPA LEAGUE: Man United held to 0-0, Wolves win | Arsenal run rampant ]

The 28-year-old picked up the injury during last weekend’s PL victory over Everton and was subbed off in the 80th minute.

Ederson, Mahrez outstanding as Man City endures Everton challenge

Leave a comment

Riyad Mahrez scored an incredible free kick and Ederson thwarted a late Everton charge as Manchester City plucked a 2-1 win from Goodison Park on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Gabriel Jesus and Dominic Calvert-Lewin traded first half goals to set up a grandstand second half.

City restores the five-point gap between itself and first place Liverpool, while Everton sits two points above the drop zone in 15th.


Three things we learned

1. Algerian wizard brings 90 minutes worth of magic: Riyad Mahrez was magic from Moment No. 1. He forced a save out of Jordan Pickford in the first minute, and had a number of incredible moments en route to his spinning free kick around the wall in the 72nd minute. The goal was his fifth shot on target to go with four key passes (and a hockey assist on Jesus’ goal). Nice luxury to have when you want to rest Bernardo Silva and David Silva for the Champions League.

2. Capable Everton shows up: Marco Silva‘s men have the talent to beat anyone on any given day, but have been maddeningly inconsistent in a fairly easy set of fixtures to start the season. They’ve lost 2-0 to a pair of newly-promoted sides.

So of course they were going to go toe-to-toe with an absolutely stacked Man City, right? On another day, with another goalkeeping performance for the visitors, Everton easily nabs a point (Ederson was on… his…. game).

The match probably stirred plenty of pride in the hearts of the Toffee faithful, but also had to infuriate those who know Everton should’ve entered the match with a similar point total to their visitors. With Burnley, Brighton, and West Ham next, can the Toffees start to stack some wins?

3. Fierce emotions and razor-thin margins: Perhaps no moment showcased the game like Morgan Schneiderlin‘s studs-up challenge on a counterattacking De Bruyne. It was a yellow card and might’ve been worse with another referee on the case.

Man of the Match: Mahrez


Riyad Mahrez forced Jordan Pickford into a two-fisted save in the first minute, as Yerry Mina allowed a long dribble into the heart of the pitch.

A scary injury to Theo Walcott halted the proceedings for the next five minutes, as the winger caught a cross to the side of the head and stayed down for treatment.

Gundogan looked set to make it 1-0 in the 11th minute but he smashed Mahrez’s cross to the back post off the cross bar.

Mahrez led another foray down the right to help produce the opener, which was all about Kevin De Bruyne‘s immaculate first touch cross. It beat Michael Keane and Jesus stooped to power it past Pickford, who was caught off guard and splayed high to miss the low effort.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

After 2-3 chances to level the score, Everton got its goal through Iwobi’s hard work forcing the ball past Fernandinho and a mess of attackers.

The ball squirted to Seamus Coleman, who chipped the ball to the line and Calvert-Lewin headed it into the back of the goal for emphasis.

Pickford made a nice save on Walker to close out the half.

Everton was very bright at the start of the second half, and Ederson had to make a phenomenal save on Mina’s in-tight header in the 55th.

Sterling made a great run in the 60th minute, but couldn’t turn a Mahrez pass past Pickford and inside the post.

City took its lead through Mahrez’s wonderful free kick, and Everton’s hopes of a quickfire answer were denied by Ederson’s sliding tip of a Calvert-Lewin shot.

Sterling put it to bed with a Goal Decision System aided call in the 85th, smashing a shot off the bottom of the bar and over the line. Set up by Aguero and Mahrez, Pickford was hung to dry by Seamus Coleman and Tom Davies.

WATCH: Man City scores five times in first 18 minutes

Leave a comment

What a start. Emphasize it, bold it, underline it.

Manchester City scored five goals in the first 18 minutes of play on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium, relegating Watford to also-ran status before the match was a quarter finished.

[ STREAM: Man City v. Watford ]

It took 54 seconds for De Bruyne to assist David Silva with an outstanding opener, but Gerard Deulofeu nearly answered when he danced around Nicolas Otamendi to force a conceded corner out of Ederson.

Silva, marked for Inter Miami in a mid-week report, was the finisher for the 55th time in his Premier League career and 72nd for his club.

Ben Foster then gave away a useless penalty when he slapped a through ball out of bounds before felling Riyad Mahrez for an easy penalty. Aguero stepped to the spot calm as you like and dispatched the No. 2 to the scoreboard.

That was hardly the end to Watford’s woes, as Mahrez dazzled with a dribble through the heart of the field to earn a free kick atop the 18. There was only one destination, given the series of events. 3-0.

Bernardo Silva then got in on the act, when Otamendi nodded a De Bruyne corner to the back post for a prone finish and 4-0.

Not to be outdone, Otamendi was back post for a finish of his own, giving City its fifth goal off an Aguero assist.

Man City midfield controls Shakhtar in Ukraine

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City got its UEFA Champions League run off to a convincing start, easing some nerves from the weekend with a 3-0 defeat of Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan set each other up for goals, Gabriel Jesus also scored, and Fernandinho partnered with Nicolas Otamendi at center back to earn the clean sheet.


Three things we learned

1. Midfield runs the match: Center backs aren’t all that vital if the ball never gets to them, and Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri were exceptional (even with the latter taking an early yellow card). Rodri completed every single one of his 82 passes in helping City control the park, departing with less than a quarter-hour to play. Pep Guardiola had a lot of love for Gundogan’s day.

2. De Bruyne dangerous on an off day: Kevin De Bruyne just couldn’t find that final ball, constantly in dangerous areas but unable to execute that moment. Credited with three key passes including th, his shooting was the glaring difference between 3-0 and 5-0.

3. Shakhtar shows creative flair: Taison and Marlos both showed a knack for taking on defenders, each credited with four dribbles on the day. It was Shakhtar’s best chance to break down a disciplined City, and the closest the hosts came to succeeding on the day.

Man of the Match: Rodri


A Kevin De Bruyne free kick provided an early threat, but Rodri’s header was a bit off and unable to open the scoring in Ukraine.

Shakhtar then had a nice spell of possession, but City was up to the task. Rodri led a chance in the other direction and sent a ball back De Bruyne for a header, which was wide like the first.

Mahrez put City ahead on a rebound after Ilkay Gundogan took a Gabriel Jesus feed and pushed the ball off the post.

The Algerian didn’t need a post to return the favor, sending a delightful pass into the path of Gundogan for a smooth finish an 2-0.

De Bruyne finally got his assist when he took care of a bounding ball to Jesus for a chop into the goal.

De Bruyne hopes for Kompany reunion

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kevin De Bruyne hopes to link up with Vincent Kompany once again when his days at Manchester City are up.

De Bruyne, 28, has been in sensational form for club and country early in the season and has been the standout player in the Premier League so far.

Speaking ahead of Kompany’s testimonial game at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday the Belgian wizard told the Sun that he would love to play for his former teammate, who is now the player-manager of Anderlecht.

“I hope his [Kompany’s] career will be just as amazing at Anderlecht as it was at City. I’ve told him to keep a place in his team for me in a year, or seven, when I’m finished here,” De Bruyne said. “If he does do that for me I will already have my next destination lined up; my next job. I will definitely miss him being around City.”

Kompany is a legendary figure at City and in Belgium, but his time in charge of Anderlecht in a player-manager role hasn’t started well.

The Brussels club have lost three of their opening six matches in the league, but they beat top of the table Standard Liege 1-0 before the international break. Kompany has a very young squad to work with and is trying to develop a totally new playing identity, all while he’s still playing as a center back.

Kompany’s pull is clear and Anderlecht will definitely want him around for as long as possible if the likes of De Bruyne want to join his project. Quite how they’d be able to afford KDB wages is another matter altogether, but the fact he wants to do it one day shows how much respect and love he has for Kompany.

The latter was instrumental in De Bruyne joining City, and we all know how well that has worked out for both parties over the past few seasons.

After winning back-to-back Premier League titles together at City, De Bruyne and Kompany seem destined to stay inextricably linked.