Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has revealed that his side spent only 15 minutes preparing their tactics which worked so effectively against Manchester United on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s side took a firm advantage in the Carabao Cup semi-final between the sides, with Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne particularly influential as City stormed into a three-goal lead before the break.
United, who had Andreas Pereira, Fred and Jesse Lingard in midfield, struggled to cope with City’s intensity and – in particular – Silva, who was playing in a false nine position.
Marcus Rashford pulled one back for the hosts after the break but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men have it all to do in two weeks’ time if they are to progress to the final.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, De Bruyne opened up about how his side prepared their tactics for the clash at Old Trafford.
“We did 15 minutes on it in the morning, that’s about it,” the Belgian international said.
“We didn’t train that but it’s not like we never did it before – we did it sometimes against teams that prefer to play man-against-man; Cardiff, United, in Barcelona away we did it the first year with Pep, so we’ve done it a couple of times.
“With Bernardo dropping it is four against three in the midfield, so they have to choose what they do – if they put their defender up there is more space behind and if not Bernardo is going to be free and that is what we tried to do.
“I think overall we played well. The second half they tried to put a bit more pressure on us and we made one mistake and they scored from it.
“I don’t think they had a lot of chances and I think we should have scored more but in the end 3-1 is a good advantage. We know it is not over but obviously it was a good game for us.”
Elsewhere, former City defender Micah Richards has said that Rashford would be a much better player with service from the likes of De Bruyne, as opposed to the playing with the creativity offered by United.
Speaking on Sky Sports coverage of Tuesday’s game, Richards said: “At City he’s scoring 30-40 goals. With [Anthony] Martial and [Daniel] James, United look good on the counter.
“But sometimes the counter isn’t on. You need to be able to pick holes in teams and United can’t do that.
“You look at City’s midfield compared to United’s and that’s no disrespect to them. [Kevin] De Bruyne’s first thought is ‘let’s play a forward pass.”