Kevin De Bruyne: Manchester City season ‘not as bad as some people say’
City unexpectedly claimed the upper hand in their tie with the runaway French champions as they came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw in the first leg at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
But De Bruyne is well aware that advantage, courtesy of two away goals, is only a slender one and a tough night could lie in store when the sides meet again at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
The Belgium forward, who scored City’s first goal in Paris, said: “I think people were maybe not expecting us to do so well in Paris. The score is great for us, but it doesn’t mean it will be easy at home.
“We have a slight advantage on them because even a low-scoring draw is enough for us, but they will come for us and maybe that will give us some space in the next game.”
Seeing off PSG, who boast some formidable attacking talent in the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Angel di Maria, could dramatically alter perceptions of City’s season.
City did win the League Cup in February, but, with their title hopes in the Premier League fading rapidly in the weeks since, their campaign is coming to be regarded as one of under-achievement.
There were high expectations of reclaiming the domestic crown two months ago and it was hoped the early announcement of Pep Guardiola’s summer arrival would fuel their charge.
That has conspicuously not happened, but De Bruyne, signed for a club record £54 million (Dh280m) last summer, claims the season has not been as bad as some have suggested.
The 24-year-old said: “We know that we’ve made some mistakes this year. It happens in a season. One season everything will go right and in another season you will have difficulties and injuries etc.
“Everything must fall into place, but we have won the League Cup, have gone far in the Champions League and are still in the top four, so I don’t think the season is as bad as some people say – but obviously it could have gone better also.”
City have hosted PSG once before, drawing 0-0 with the Ligue 1 outfit in the group stage of the Uefa Cup in 2008. Their team that night included current captain Vincent Kompany, who may have an outside chance of featuring this time after a month out with a calf-related problem.
City will hope their performance in the first leg in Paris, and the prospect of reaching the semi-finals for the first time, will create enough demand for the match to sell out. The club were criticised when tickets first went on sale with a top price of £60 last month and seats have remained available in the days leading up to the game.
City said they felt the charges were “a fair reflection of the profile of the game” but such has been the level of disgruntlement they could review their pricing policy for future games in the competition.
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Published: April 9, 2016 04:00 AM