The 2019-20 Premier League campaign has been suspended at least until April 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been 1,372 confirmed cases of the virus and 35 deaths in the United Kingdom, prompting a pause in the football season.

The disruption comes with Liverpool just two wins away from a first league title in 30 years, while Manchester United are improving in pursuit of Champions League qualification.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the most interesting facts relating to England's 'Big Six' and their campaigns so far.


LIVERPOOL

- Jurgen Klopp's side are top of the pile but do not look as defensively solid as they did in the 2018-19 season. Liverpool have conceded 21 times in the league so far this term, just one goal fewer than in their entire previous 38-game campaign.

- Roberto Firmino finally ended a long wait for an Anfield goal against Atletico Madrid this week. It was his first home Liverpool strike in 20 games in all competitions since netting against Porto in April 2019, 337 days earlier.

- The Reds were just starting to wobble slightly. With the reverse at home to Atletico, Liverpool have lost four of their past six matches in all competitions – as many defeats as in their previous 67 games.


MANCHESTER CITY

- Manchester City have lost seven Premier League games this season, one more than they had in their previous two campaigns combined.

- Heading into the break, Sergio Aguero had scored 180 Premier League goals for Manchester City. Only Wayne Rooney - 183 for United - has scored more for a single team in the competition's history, with Aguero passing Thierry Henry - 175 for Arsenal - earlier this term.

- Kevin De Bruyne has become the first player to register 15 or more assists in three different Premier League seasons. Only Cesc Fabregas had previously done so in more than one campaign.


CHELSEA

- Chelsea have lost five Premier League home games already this season. Only in 1994-95 - seven times - have they been beaten more often at Stamford Bridge.

- The Blues are also still winless away from home in the league in 2020, drawing three and losing one of their four matches. They last endured a longer such run in the 2015-16 season, failing to taste victory over seven straight away trips.

- Frank Lampard has been reliant on homegrown talent this season. Only Leicester City (31) and Southampton (24) have more goals from English players than Chelsea's 21 - level with United.


MANCHESTER UNITED

- United are unbeaten in 11 in all competitions, but their points return of 45 is still their lowest through 29 games of a Premier League season.

- Bruno Fernandes has inspired their change in fortunes, though, and he has been involved in more Premier League goals (five - two goals, three assists) since his February 1 debut than any other player.

- At 25 years and 86 days old, United have the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season.


TOTTENHAM

- No side have kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League than Tottenham's four this season. The last time they kept so few in the first 29 matches of a campaign was in 2006-07 (also four).

- Spurs are missing Harry Kane (131.18 minutes per goal), Son Heung-min (152.31 mins per goal) and now January signing Steven Bergwijn (280.5 mins per goal) through injury. Dele Alli has the best minutes per goal ratio - 298 - among the rest of the squad in all competitions this season.


ARSENAL

- Arsenal have drawn 13 Premier League games this season - already their highest such tally since 17 in 1993-94.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 17 goals have been worth 16 points to Arsenal this season. Only Sadio Mane's 14 goals have been worth more (18 points) to a single club.

Ilkay Gundogan insists it was wrong to award the free-kick that led to Manchester United's opening goal in the derby and has accused Bruno Fernandes of play-acting.

City midfielder Gundogan was penalised when he prodded the ball away from Fernandes while making minimal contact with the United star 29 minutes into the match at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took the lead from the resulting set-piece, Fernandes chipping a clever pass that Anthony Martial volleyed past Ederson.

United withstood City pressure in the second half before Scott McTominay pounced on another Ederson error to secure a 2-0 victory in second-half injury time.

"There was frustration about the free-kick before the goal," Gundogan admitted. "It was not a foul at all. I just touched the ball and he goes on the floor shouting.

"I don't even know if the referee saw it or just had a feeling that it was a foul. That was very disappointing for me, to be honest, because I was involved in the action and conceding the goal straight afterwards hurt very much. We tried hard after conceding the first one but it just wasn't enough."

Gundogan refused to pin blame for the defeat onto Ederson, who also nearly allowed Martial to score a second with uncharacteristically careless control.

"Eddy has been crucial in so many games for us, and he is allowed to make mistakes. Unfortunately, this time they were punished, very crucially for us," he said.

"We win together and lose together. That's why we play football; that's why we're a team. He will deal with that situation very well. He's angry, disappointed and frustrated, but it's always about how you get out of it. He has all of our support and I'm sure he will do much better in the next games."

City could not match United's intensity in the first half and were short on creativity in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, managing only four shots on target throughout.

"It hurts a lot," said Gundogan. "Not really the result but that we didn't play our best game, especially creating in the last third. This game is always big, one of the biggest derbies in the world. That's why we wanted to perform and play well.

"United were much more aggressive, especially after scoring the first goal. They tried to press very high for 10 minutes afterwards. Missing Kevin is crucial in these kind of games.

"But we still have some very important games, big games. We play Arsenal now and Burnley. Then obviously a vital game against [Real] Madrid at home [in the Champions League] and another crucial game in the FA Cup.

"So we still have the possibility to win silverware. We will try to achieve that and do better than we did on Sunday."

Manchester City are without the injured Kevin De Bruyne for the derby against Manchester United, with captain Harry Maguire passed fit for the hosts.

De Bruyne suffered a shoulder injury after coming off the bench during last week's 2-1 EFL Cup final win over Aston Villa.

Pep Guardiola has opted not to risk the Belgium playmaker – whose 26 Premier League appearances this season have yielded eight goals and 16 assists – as City head into a busy period, including the return leg of their Champions League last-16 showdown with Real Madrid.

Maguire rolled his ankle in training this week and sat out the FA Cup win at Derby County but returns alongside Aaron Wan-Bissaka (back) and Daniel James (knock).

United are unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions but have only won one of the past eight Premier League derbies at Old Trafford.

Boyhood City fan Phil Foden, man of the match at Wembley last weekend, enjoys his first start in the fixture, while right-back Joao Cancelo features in a Premier League starting XI for the first time since mid-January.

Kevin De Bruyne's shoulder injury is still "not perfect" and he remains a doubt for the derby between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford.

The Belgian missed the FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek having banged his shoulder in the closing stages of City's EFL Cup final victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.

Manager Pep Guardiola revealed after the fifth-round success at Hillsborough that he was unsure if De Bruyne would be available to face United on Sunday and, two days out from that derby, he was still none the wiser.

"He's getting better," Guardiola said.

"Today we didn't train, tomorrow he will improve. I spoke this morning with the physio and he said it feels better. Not perfect, but feels better. We will see."

One player who definitely will not feature at Old Trafford is winger Leroy Sane.

The Germany international has been sidelined since August when he damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, though he has been back in training for almost a month and featured for City's development squad against Arsenal last week.

However, the possibility of Sane making his first-team comeback for City's senior side this weekend was dismissed by Guardiola.

"No. Like I said in the previous press conference, he's making a big, big process," Guardiola added.

"But still he's not 100 per cent fit and he has to be ready and fit to play official games right now.

"I think weeks and games [with the development squad] of course will be good.

"He will feel first himself the way he moves in the training session because every week he is getting better and after I will try to give him minutes to get back as soon as possible. But for this game he is not ready."

Given City are 22 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool but are still virtually assured of a top-four finish, there is arguably more riding on the game for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men are fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, yet Guardiola urged his players not to take the fixture lightly.

"When we believe that it's more important for them than us, we are going to lose the game," he said.

"You have to find some way to believe it's important.

"What I saw in videos, in the games, the players follow [Solskjaer], absolutely, the commitment they have and it's getting better.

"Right now maybe is their best moment in the season."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is unsure if Kevin De Bruyne will be fit for Sunday's derby against Manchester United due to a shoulder injury.

De Bruyne was not involved as City triumphed 1-0 at Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, Sergio Aguero's goal sending the holders through to the quarter-finals midweek.

Speaking after Wednesday's victory, Guardiola revealed star De Bruyne was absent because of a problem suffered in the closing stages of the EFL Cup final against Aston Villa at the weekend.

The City boss admitted he does not know if the 28-year-old will be ready for the weekend as City face the short trip to Old Trafford in the Premier League.

"Kevin had a problem here [pointing to his shoulder]," Guardiola told the media. "He was not fit.

"In the last game, the last minutes he fell down in a bad position and had a problem in his back. We don't know how long [he will be out]. Hopefully not much."

Asked if Belgium international De Bruyne will be fit to face United, he replied: "I don't know."

De Bruyne only came on a second-half substitute against Villa, replacing Ilkay Gundogan in the 58th minute at Wembley Stadium.

After the game against United, City host Arsenal in league action next Wednesday, while the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid takes place at the Etihad Stadium on March 17.

Manchester City won their fifth EFL Cup in the past seven seasons with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Wembley on Sunday.

Sergio Aguero's goal got the defending champions up and running, with Rodri heading in a controversial second from a corner that should not have been given.

Mbwana Samatta's diving header got Villa back in the contest ahead of the break but City dominated the second half before surviving an almighty late scare.

Having been on the back foot, Villa came close to a last-gasp leveller as Bjorn Engels forced Claudio Bravo into a fine save, tipping his header onto the post as City won the trophy for a third year in a row.

This trophy formed part of a historic domestic treble in the last campaign and City's hopes of FA Cup success are still alive, even if their Premier League title defence has been left in tatters by a Liverpool side who suffered a shock loss to Watford on Saturday.

If City are to collect another hat-trick of trophies it will also require a maiden Champions League success, with Wednesday's stunning 2-1 win at Real Madrid raising hopes on that front.

It was eyebrows that were raised when Guardiola's team was announced, showing eight changes from that midweek starting line-up, with Kevin De Bruyne the headline name on the bench.

Villa, who have won the competition five times but not since 1996, made a bright start and Anwar El Ghazi headed narrowly over from Ahmed Elmohamady​'s delivery.

With City having won seven of the last eight matches against Villa, scoring nine goals in this season's two league fixtures, it was little surprise to see them grow into the contest and Sergio Aguero looped a header onto the roof of the net.

The breakthrough came after 20 minutes when Rodri picked out Phil Foden, who nodded into the path of Aguero to convert via a slight deflection off Tyrone Mings.

City won a corner 10 minutes later that should have been a goal-kick, the ball clearly having come off Ilkay Gundogan last, and from that set-piece – taken by the German – Rodri headed home.

Dean Smith's side showed tremendous character to reduce the deficit before the break, John Stones stumbling comically under a high ball as El Ghazi capitalised, his cross converted by Samatta.

Foden bounced a shot wide from the edge of the box early in the second half as City sought to snuff out any threat of a turnaround, with De Bruyne's introduction soon after another indication of their intent.

It became a game of attack versus defence, with Villa pinned back, and it took a stunning Orjan Nyland save to keep out Rodri's downward header.

Remarkably, Villa almost snatched a leveller, but Bravo produced a superb save to push Engels' attempt onto his right-hand upright in the dying moments.

 

What does it mean? Silverware lining for City

City have had a long time to get used to the idea the Premier League trophy will not reside at the Etihad Stadium next season, and so competitions like the EFL Cup – evidently not taken lightly by Guardiola – have taken on added importance.

This is yet another piece of silverware to add to his and the club's collection, which should provide a boost for a run-in that could yet yield two further prizes.

Villa, meanwhile, must quickly dust themselves down as they seek to secure their top-flight status.

Classy Foden shines on Wembley stage

Foden's first City goal came in this competition against Oxford United in 2018, his performance then earning rave reviews from Guardiola, who has used him relatively sparingly. But Foden's class was evident again in London, the English midfielder showcasing his exquisite first touch on numerous occasions, while also providing a headed assist for Aguero's opener.

Mason misses the obvious

Given City's dominance of the match, it might seem churlish to single out referee Lee Mason's role as being pivotal, but such a brazen mistake – the award of the corner which led to Rodri's goal – on such a big stage is hard to overlook. Besides, Stones' error was humiliating enough without also singling him out here...

What's next?

City head to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Wednesday, with the Manchester derby to follow on Sunday. Villa's fight for survival takes them to Leicester City a week on Monday.

Kevin De Bruyne will start Manchester City's EFL Cup final showdown against Aston Villa on the bench.

De Bruyne starred as Pep Guardiola's side came from behind to win 2-1 at Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday – creating Gabriel Jesus' equaliser before dispatching a late penalty to give City a first-leg advantage in the last-16 tie.

But Guardiola has opted to manage the workload of his star playmaker, who sat out large chunks of last season with two separate knee injuries.

Club captain David Silva takes the armband from De Bruyne as he returns to the starting line-up alongside Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho, the experienced trio having been named among the substitutes at the Santiago Bernabeu, while England Under-21 midfielder Phil Foden looks set to complete a front three that also includes Raheem Sterling.

Elsewhere on another eyebrow-raising team sheet from Guardiola – showing eight changes from midweek – there are defensive recalls for John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Orjan Nyland has been named in goal for Villa, the understudy having impressed sufficiently in the semi-final triumph against Leicester City to keep the experienced Pepe Reina on the bench. Similarly, City understudy Claudio Bravo retains his cup place at the expense of regular number one Ederson.

City are aiming to extend their recent dominance of the competition by winning a fifth EFL Cup in the past seven seasons, along with a third in succession having beaten Arsenal 3-0 in the 2018 final before overcoming Chelsea on penalties 12 months ago.

When the sides met at Villa Park in January, Aguero hit a hat-trick and De Bruyne excelled as the visitors ran out 6-1 winners.

Kevin De Bruyne will start Manchester City's EFL Cup final showdown against Aston Villa on the bench.

De Bruyne starred as Pep Guardiola's side came from behind to win 2-1 at Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday – creating Gabriel Jesus' equaliser before dispatching a late penalty to give City a first-leg advantage in the last-16 tie.

But Guardiola has opted to manage the workload of his star playmaker, who sat out large chunks of last season with two separate knee injuries.

Club captain David Silva takes the armband from De Bruyne as he returns to the starting line-up alongside Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho, the experienced trio having been named among the substitutes at the Santiago Bernabeu, while England Under-21 midfielder Phil Foden looks set to complete the front three alongside Aguero and Raheem Sterling.

Elsewhere on another eyebrow-raising team sheet from Guardiola - showing eight changes from midweek - there are defensive recalls for John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

 TEAM NEWS IS IN! 

XI | Bravo, Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Foden, D Silva (C), Sterling, Aguero.

SUBS | Ederson, G Jesus, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mendy, Mahrez, Otamendi.

 @HaysWorldwide
 #ManCity #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/kH4Crx2TC9

— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 1, 2020

Orjan Nyland has been named in goal for Villa, the understudy having impressed sufficiently in the semi-final triumph against Leicester City to keep the experienced Pepe Reina on the bench. Similarly, City understudy Claudio Bravo retains his cup place at the expense of regular number one Ederson.

City are aiming to extend their recent dominance of the competition by winning a fifth EFL Cup in the past seven seasons, along with a third in succession having beaten Arsenal 3-0 in the 2018 final before overcoming Chelsea on penalties 12 months ago.

When the sides met at Villa Park in January, Aguero hit a hat-trick and De Bruyne excelled as the visitors ran out 6-1 winners.

Pep Guardiola says there is little he can offer to improve Kevin De Bruyne as he is the type of unique talent who will challenge himself to continue reaching greater heights.

De Bruyne has been the jewel in Guardiola's Manchester City crown since taking over at the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2016-17 season.

The Belgium playmaker once again showed his importance to City with a stunning display in the midweek Champions League encounter at Real Madrid, which they won 2-1 to steal a lead in the last-16 tie.

After creating the first goal, the nerveless De Bruyne struck the winning penalty, a particularly vital moment given City had missed their previous four spot-kicks.

The praise continues to pour in from pundits for De Bruyne, a player who Guardiola says he has to offer little in terms of advice as he shoulders the responsibility himself.

"Honestly, these type of players, or most players I would say, the challenge comes from themselves, inside themselves," Guardiola said ahead of the EFL Cup final against Aston Villa. 

"If you have to push them to reach something special it's because they are not big, big, big. I don't like the players who complain about things. 

"As a guy he will want to reach something above what he has done, it depends on him. I don't believe too much to seduce them if you want to be a better player. 

"Players know what drills or skills to improve. It has to come from him, from something inside. The big outlets in all sorts come from inside, not because the trainers or someone has to tell them. 

"With the biggest one there is one detail, one special detail, is never complain, never make a complaint about the clubs, organisations, managers. They know the reality, they face the difficulties, they face, 'okay we are going to overcome, we are going to be better and better day by day and do it'. 

"That is only the biggest ones, the other ones they stay in positions and after they change clubs and they cannot be in the top clubs and all the time make the reason why this is for the other ones. 

"The big ones always look at himself, that is the best way. Unfortunately, it was not good enough when we went to 100 points to be the best player in the league. Maybe in the future."

Guardiola added that the only reminder he gives De Bruyne is to always keep things simple.

"It's not necessary to say absolutely anything about Kevin, just take a look how he plays," he added.

"At the end a player plays for himself and the manager through our teams. The performance, the continuity, the influence in our final third, in our finishing, in our desire, his calm and positivity. 

"When I say, 'Kevin, what did you feel before you take the penalty [against Real Madrid]?', he said, 'I'm going to score'. He doesn't feel much pressure, he likes to play in the big events. He is an exceptional player.

"Always I said to him the simple things Kevin, don't forget to do the simple things properly.

"Sometimes he's alone and loses the ball and I say, 'Kevin, you cannot do it because you are able to see something special, you have the spaces when no one can say sometimes you do it'. 

"But I think even with that he is improving and improving. You cannot forget he is not 33 years old or 34, he still has a lot of years to play and always you have the feeling when he is on the pitch, even when he's not taking influence in a period of a game especially, you always have the feeling that he's never disconnected and he has something to do and it's important."

Guardiola's side can win a fifth straight domestic trophy and third consecutive EFL Cup by beating Villa, something the City manager feels would be just reward for their "courage".

"The Carabao Cup is not the same as the Premier League and I would prefer to be winning the Premier League, but at the same time it is a good competition," Guardiola said. 

"I remember the first game when we were at Preston and we used Eric [Garcia] and Taylor [Harwood-Bellis] and they played to win the game.

"That is what I like of my teams, it happens all the time. There is not one opponent that can say they faced one of my teams, Manchester City, Bayern Munich or Barcelona, and we didn't try to win. 

"It takes courage and bravery to try to win all the time. Sometimes we have to defend more or use more long balls but that is only because we are up against a good opponent, not because we want to."

Pep Guardiola joked Manchester City's tactics would not be getting praised if they had not won after his side came from behind to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League.

City had the better of a fast-paced first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, yet Isco's opener on the hour looked set to be handing Madrid the advantage in their last-16 tie.

However, a tactical tweak from Guardiola – who started Kevin De Bruyne in an advanced role and Gabriel Jesus on the left – saw Raheem Sterling enter the fray and spark a late revival.

Sterling's introduction gave De Bruyne license to roam, with the playmaker setting up Jesus' equaliser before the Belgian slotted in a winning penalty with seven minutes remaining.

Sergio Ramos saw red for Madrid as their capitulation worsened, with City holding firm to take a lead back to Manchester for the second leg on March 17.

"Only because we won, it doesn't count if not," Guardiola told BT Sport when asked if it was a perfect gameplan.

"The important thing is the way we played. We came here to win the game and we did it in this stadium, it's just the first part.

"If one team can overcome this situation, it will be [Real Madrid]. Of course, it's a good result.

"I am so proud, but it is just the first part. We have another game, so it is not over. It will be so hard. But be calm, enjoy the moment.

"On Sunday we have [the EFL Cup] final and then keep going in the Premier League and prepare the second game against Madrid."

City missed several chances prior to Isco's opener, which came from a mix-up between Nicolas Otamendi and Rodri, while Kyle Walker also failed to cover himself in glory, and Guardiola acknowledged his team are still prone to too many lapses.

"We were the better side and we conceded a goal that we should not have conceded and then, when Madrid were better, we scored. But that is competition, that is football," he added.

"I remember two seasons ago in the quarter-finals at Anfield we played incredibly well, but [Liverpool] had three shots on target and scored three goals.

"Against Tottenham [last season] we showed incredible personality as well, but we have to improve, we cannot gift them the goal we conceded, but it's part of the game and in the future we will grow."

De Bruyne's winner was his 50th goal in all competitions for City, and the 28-year-old said he and his team-mates are now getting used to Guardiola's tactical tinkering.

"I think in the four years [under Pep] there has always been surprises," De Bruyne told BT Sport.

"We don't sometimes really know until the game starts what we need to do. Some moments were good, we had some lesser moments but in a quality game like this you're going to struggle sometimes, but we fought really well together."

The tension was palpable as Kevin De Bruyne stepped up to take his penalty at the Santiago Bernabeu.

No doubt Manchester City's issues from the spot were going through the Belgian's mind – he had even been asked about the apparent problem after Sergio Aguero's miss against Leicester City was their fourth successive spot-kick failure.

But there needn't have been any worries in the heads of City fans, players or coaching staff. De Bruyne coolly slotted to his left, calmly placing his kick right into the bottom corner with the kind of assuredness we have come to expect from the midfield dynamo.

It was a just reward for an exceptional display from De Bruyne, who was the driving force behind much of City's best moves, laying on an unmatched four key passes.

Understandably De Bruyne will take many of the plaudits following City's impressive 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Gabriel Jesus more than played his part with a selfless, yet similarly crucial role.

The Brazilian was picked ahead of City's all-time leading scorer, Aguero, causing many-an-eyebrow to raise pre-match and concerning some fans after Thomas Muller's recent suggestion Pep Guardiola overthinks his selections ahead of the biggest games.

When asked if it was a reward for scoring the winner against Leicester after replacing Aguero from the bench late on, Guardiola denied it but kept his cards close to his chest.

Although initially appearing to be lining up as a lone frontman, Jesus started the contest from the left and worked tirelessly on the flank, tracking back but also proving a lively presence in attack.

The 22-year-old ended up with four shots – no one on the pitch had more – despite being asked to play such a role, one akin to the job Wayne Rooney was often tasked with performing for Manchester United on the biggest occasions.

Jesus' locale on the left actually led to him carving out the first chance of the match as he darted into the box from his wide position, cut inside Sergio Ramos and shot at Thibaut Courtois.

On this occasion the finish didn't quite live up to the build-up play.

Playing from the left is by no means a new phenomenon for Jesus, having done so on many occasions as a youngster with Palmeiras and Brazil's youth teams.

But performing such a role in the Champions League, away to Real Madrid, is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Jesus' work ethic was highlighted by the fact no one on the pitch engaged in more duels (14) than him. Eight players were involved in 10 or more, but none came out on top more often than the City forward (57 per cent).

He also completed two tackles, a figure bettered by no one, and two interceptions – only three players made more.

But to only focus on that side of Jesus' performance would be doing him a huge disservice.

De Bruyne was the single player to produce more than Jesus' three key passes, while he was there in the right place at the right time to score City's equaliser.

Peeling away from Ramos and cheekily giving him a slight nudge to maximise the space, Jesus headed De Bruyne's 78th-minute delivery into the ground and the bounce helped in deceiving Courtois as the Brazilian made light of the cross' lack of pace.

He might have got himself a second goal as he darted in behind Ramos four minutes from time, but he at least succeeded in luring the Spanish centre-back into earning the 26th red card of his professional career.

Guardiola made a bold move in selecting Jesus ahead of the ever-reliable Aguero, but the Argentinian could never have produced a comparable display in such a role.

Jesus more than justified Guardiola's faith – his industriousness and work ethic effectively inspiring one of the most famous results in City's history.

Manchester City completed a stunning comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu as Kevin De Bruyne's penalty secured a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Despite being the better side for much of a frenetic encounter in Spain, City – who lost Aymeric Laporte to injury in the first half – looked set to be heading for a defeat when Isco put Madrid ahead on the hour.

But De Bruyne, a peripheral figure in the first half, led the fightback, supplying the cross from which Gabriel Jesus headed home an equaliser before coolly slotting in from 12 yards after Dani Carvajal had brought down substitute Raheem Sterling.

And Madrid's frustrations were compounded with four minutes remaining, captain Sergio Ramos seeing red for a last-man challenge on Jesus as City secured a lead to take back to Manchester.

Kevin De Bruyne insisted nothing has changed at Manchester City and said the players have "all trust" in the club after they were hit with a Champions League ban.

City were handed a two-season ban from European competition by UEFA last week after being found to have committed "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

The Premier League champions have denied any wrongdoing and intend to appeal, but speculation has mounted over manager Pep Guardiola and their star players' futures.

De Bruyne starred in a 2-0 Premier League win over West Ham on Wednesday and the playmaker said there was no change at City despite off-field events.

"Obviously we were on holiday when the statement happened. We came back and played football. The situation is what it is," he told Sky Sports.

"We came back and trained like normal and in the end nothing really changed. We just play the games we have, like today when we gave a good performance.

"We still have a lot to play for and let's hope we can find our rhythm as soon as possible and win some titles."

De Bruyne added: "The team give the statement. I don't know what else we can do other than play football. In the end the situation will show what it will show.

"The club is doing its thing and we have all trust in them."

Goals from Rodri and De Bruyne helped City consolidate second place and close the gap to Liverpool to 22 points in their first game since February 2.

De Bruyne felt the break impacted Guardiola's side, who travel to third-placed Leicester City on Saturday.

"It was okay. I think we saw it's been three weeks without football and we felt a little bit of rustiness, but we played a good game," he said.

Manchester City put their off-field issues to one side by easing to a 2-0 win over West Ham in Wednesday's rearranged Premier League fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

The build-up to the game was dominated by talk of a two-year ban from European football imposed on City by UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

But it was business as usual on the pitch for City as Rodri made a breakthrough in the first half with his first home goal for the club and Kevin De Bruyne added a second just after the hour.

That proved enough for Pep Guardiola's men, who bounced back from their 2-0 loss at Tottenham earlier this month to open up a four-point gap on third-place Leicester City.

The original game was called off 10 days ago due to Storm Ciara which, combined with the competition's inaugural mid-season break, meant a 17-day rest for City's players.

It did not take long for the hosts to get going, Gabriel Jesus spurning a glorious chance by taking one touch too many in front of goal and allowing Ryan Fredericks to get back.

The Brazil striker again delayed the shot too long from City's next big opening, but Rodri opened the scoring with a looping header at the near post after half an hour.

Guardiola's men toiled for large parts of the contest but had a second goal after 62 minutes through De Bruyne, who exchanged passes with Bernardo Silva and fired home.

Jesus was denied by Lukasz Fabianski 13 minutes from the end, though it mattered little as West Ham - in the relegation zone after collecting two points from the last 18 on offer - failed to muster any sort of response.


What does it mean? City do their talking on the pitch

The threat of a two-year ban from the Champions League has led to talk of a string of City's first-team stars, as well as boss Guardiola, moving on at the end of the season.

Guardiola challenged his players to focus on each game as it comes and this was a welcome win, 17 days on from losing at Tottenham in their most recent outing.

De Bruyne delivers again

De Bruyne sent in a delightful corner for Rodri's opener and blasted in a second to make it a combined 151 goals and assists for the playmaker in Europe's top five leagues.

Since making his City debut in September 2015, only Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi (62) has assisted more goals in Europe's top five leagues than the 61 De Bruyne has managed.

Hesitant Jesus lets West Ham off

Guardiola started Aguero and Jesus together in the Premier League for just the 12th time and West Ham struggled to cope with the pair.

Both players should have got on the scoresheet, though, with Jesus guilty of missing three gilt-edged opportunities.

What's next?

City will be looking to preserve their four-point lead on Leicester when they head to the King Power Stadium on Saturday, while West Ham have a daunting trip to league leaders Liverpool in five days' time.

Steven Bergwijn scored a superb volley on his debut as Tottenham earned a 2-0 victory over Manchester City, who dominated possession but missed a penalty and had Oleksandr Zinchenko sent off.

Pep Guardiola's men were perhaps guilty of overplaying in front of goal across the course of a game that exploded into life when Hugo Lloris saved an Ilkay Gundogan spot-kick in a frenetic climax a tense first half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The champions remained on top until Zinchenko received a second booking and his marching orders, leaving Spurs to capitalise on their man advantage almost immediately with Bergwijn's memorable strike after 63 minutes.

Son Heung-Min's seventh top-flight goal of the season left City with too much to do in the final 20 minutes and they suffered a first defeat in six league outings that all but extinguishes their already faint title hopes with Liverpool 22 points clear at the top of the table.

Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero missed early chances in the Spurs box and Raheem Sterling escaped with just a yellow card after a dangerous challenge that almost buckled Dele Alli's ankle.

Riyad Mahrez turned his back on a shooting chance when he mistakenly thought he had been flagged offside but moments later his threaded pass sent Aguero through for a shot against the foot of the post as Spurs came under fire.

The half ended in chaos, with a belated VAR review overturning referee Mike Dean's decision not to award Aguero a penalty following a clumsy challenge by Serge Aurier.

After Gundogan's spot-kick was saved by Lloris, there was an angry melee as Tottenham's players fumed over Sterling's attempt to win another penalty when he tumbled over the goalkeeper's arms, with Toby Alderweireld and Zinchenko booked for their contributions.

A mix-up between Lloris and Japhet Tanganga allowed Aguero to loop a shot towards goal that was cleared as far as Sterling and he squared to Gundogan, who blazed over the crossbar with the net gaping.

Zinchenko was shown a second yellow card for barging Harry Winks as the Spurs midfielder broke towards the half-way line and shortly after the hosts were ahead.

Lucas Moura chipped the ball to the edge of the box where Bergwijn controlled it with his chest and volleyed into the bottom-right corner of the net with exquisite technique.

Eight minutes later, Tanguy Ndombele carved an opening for Son, whose deflected shot from just inside the box beat Ederson at his near post to double Tottenham's lead and the closest City came to pulling one back was a Davinson Sanchez header against his own crossbar at the death.

 

What does it mean? Liverpool's title party plans come forward

With City trailing so far behind, Liverpool need just 18 more points to clinch the Premier League title and at the rate they are winning games that will not take long.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are up to fifth in the table and will be confident of closing the four-point gap to Chelsea above them after beating the champions.

Winks fares well in De Bruyne battle

Kevin De Bruyne tends to control games from his position in the City engine room but Harry Winks broke up the play and put Spurs on the front foot at key moments to help turn the game.

Rodrigo fades after promising start

Rodrigo showed glimpses of his silky passing abilities early on but by the second half was little more than a bystander as Spurs turned the screw.

What's next?

City are back at Etihad Stadium on Sunday when West Ham are the visitors, while Spurs travel to Aston Villa in the league after their midweek FA Cup replay against Southampton.

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