EPL

Guardiola wants more from De Bruyne: 'He's not playing at his top level'

By Sports Desk October 23, 2022

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants more from Kevin De Bruyne who he says is not playing at his top level despite a stunning goal in Saturday's 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

The two-time Premier League Player of the Season fired in City's third goal with a curling right-foot shot from just beyond the box to seal the points in the 75th minute.

Since De Bruyne's Premier League debut for City in September 2015, he has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the competition in this period (24).

The goal was the 31-year-old Belgian's second of the Premier League season while he has also contributed nine assists, yet Guardiola is expecting more.

"He can be better. He's not playing at his top level, not yet," Guardiola told reporters.

"He made a fantastic goal but he's not playing his best. He knows. I don’t have to tell him. His dynamic still is not perfect, he knows that. I spoke with him. The goal is outstanding.

"Thanks to him we didn’t suffer in the last 15, 20 minutes when the game was more open… Kevin made a masterclass action so we win the game."

Erling Haaland continued his remarkable form with a first-half double, meaning he became the first City player to score in seven consecutive home games in all competitions since Sergio Aguero in February 2018.

The Norwegian showcased his pace and physicality to open the scoring in the 22nd minute, before emphatically converting a 43rd-minute penalty with a powerful strike.

"I would say that [Haaland]] has the quality in bigger spaces, he can do it and in smaller spaces he can do it," Guardiola said. "This is the reality.

"He is fantastic. The numbers and everything, the way he kicked the penalty, the quality, he did it."

Haaland's goal which made it 2-0 was City's 600th in the Premier League under Guardiola, making him the third manager to achieve that feat behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

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