There was plenty of criticism when Guardiola left KDB out of the starting lineup for their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg defeat at Tottenham on Tuesday, but taking care of the Belgian superstar is key if City are not only going to win the Premier League title, but win it all over the next few weeks.
Speaking to reporters after the win at Palace, Guardiola reserved special praised for De Bruyne.
“The last three or four games the way he played was incredible, we missed him a lot,” said Guardiola. “He has the ability and vision to see passes that other human beings are not able to watch. With him around, our paces and passes in front – especially in the final third – are incredible and today he was so committed to defensive work, wining duels and being in that position. And of course, he is fresh mentally in the legs in those situations. That’s why he made not just the two assists that are so important but in all the other situations that we needed him.”
De Bruyne’s defense splitting pass for Raheem Sterling‘s opening goal was sensational, and reinforced the fact that he is now back to his best. Coupled with his cheeky goal against Cardiff City last week and a sumptuous assist for the winner in the FA Cup semifinal, De Bruyne is taking games by the scruff of the neck once again.
After two lengthy spells out with knee injuries this season, KDB is making up for lost time this season and is hungry for more. He barked at Sergio Aguero for not getting on the end of one of his searching passes in the first half at Palace and thundered into tackles to get City over the line.
Kevin de Bruyne will be the main man if Man City win the title, Champions League and FA Cup between now and June 1.