De Bruyne wary of Manchester City’s favourites tag

Date published: Thursday 7th April 2016 10:22

Kevin de Bruyne: Forward netted City's opener

Kevin de Bruyne: Winger netted City's opener

Kevin de Bruyne admits Manchester City are in a great position to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals but remains wary about the threat of PSG.

De Bruyne was one of City’s goalscorers as they claimed the initiative in their last-eight tie with PSG by snatching a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

Fernandinho’s 72nd-minute equaliser swung the balance City’s way after De Bruyne’s opener had been cancelled out by Zlatan Ibrahimovic before Adrien Rabiot gave PSG the lead.

But the goals told only part of the story of a frantic and error-strewn – but compelling contest – in which Joe Hart saved an Ibrahimovic penalty and PSG’s first goal was gifted by an horrendous Fernando lapse.

Asked about his team’s prospects, De Bruyne said: “There are still 90 minutes to play and we know it is going to be a tough game next week.

“PSG will go there to score goals but a lot of people will now see the chances more for us than they did before.”

The tone of the contest was set after just 13 seconds as David Luiz was booked for pulling back Sergio Aguero, an act that ruled him out of the second leg through suspension. Team-mate Blaise Matuidi later joined him in the book and on the banned list for next week’s return clash.

That pair also had strong early penalty appeals, Matuidi losing his after a coming together with Eliaquim Mangala but Luiz earning a spot-kick after going down in a challenge from Bacary Sagna.

Hart pushed away Ibrahimovic’s effort and the Swede missed another gilt-edged chance soon after before Luiz gave away possession and Fernandinho set up De Bruyne for the opener.

Fernando then blundered to allow Ibrahimovic to level and Rabiot put PSG ahead after Hart had saved from Edinson Cavani. PSG threatened to turn up the heat as Ibrahimovic headed against the bar but Fernandinho pounced on home defending to earn a draw.

De Bruyne said: “I think it was a difficult game but that is what we expected. We showed a lot of character.

“Obviously we made a mistake at 1-1 but it happens. The second half, in the beginning, was a bit more difficult but I think after 2-2 both teams were in control and after that not a lot happened.”

Fernando’s error could have proved very costly but De Bruyne insisted it was quickly forgotten.

The Belgian said: “Obviously in the moment it is a little bit tough for him and everybody is a little but angry but after that it is over. It happened and I think to come away from here with a draw is a good result for us.”

De Bruyne was dangerous in attack throughout in what was only his second game since returning from a two-month lay-off with a knee injury.

The 24-year-old, who also scored in his comeback against Bournemouth, said: “It (was) a little bit better than the other game, I lasted a bit longer and we will see how the next days progress.

“Obviously I am happy with the way it is going and physically I am getting a little bit better.”

City manager Manuel Pellegrini has also not ruled out the possibility of captain Vincent Kompany returning for the second leg.

Kompany has been out since suffering another calf-related injury in the second leg of the previous round against Dynamo Kiev.

Pellegrini said: “In the last days Vincent has worked very well but now we must test him with more intensity and it’s very difficult to answer now.”

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