Kevin De Bruyne’s performance vs Real Madrid in the first leg of the UCL round of 16 proves he’s the best midfielder in the world right now.
Manchester City are currently facing a possible 2-year ban from the Champions League. Instead of breaking the side down however, it seems that the club has taken inspiration from the unfortunate circumstance they find themselves in.
The City players, led by Kevin De Bruyne when to the lion’s den and skinned the beast when they beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night. This is the first time, that the most successful champions league side in Europe, failed to win a Champions League knockout first leg since 2013.
For a large part of the match, Madrid dominated the possession and even took the lead through Isco in the 2nd half. However, City eventually found their footing in the game and took control of the game with De Bruyne looking completely unplayable.
Kevin De Bruyne’s performance vs Real Madrid proves he’s the best midfielder in the world right now
Kevin De Bruyne vs Real Madrid pic.twitter.com/tQn0Q1pQw0
— josh (@ctrfootball) February 26, 2020
De Bruyne was mostly played as a false nine despite not playing all that much in that position all through his career. However, he took to the job like a fish to water and completely bossed the Madrid defence that included the likes of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
Kevin De Bruyne’s game by numbers vs. Real Madrid:
100% goal involvement (1⚽️ 1🅰️)
30 final third passes (most)
6 crosses (joint most)
4 chances created (most)
3 successful take-ons (most)
3 shots (second most)
Big stage, big display. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/gayi4Mii7Z
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 26, 2020
He set up Gabriel Jesus’ equalizer before stepping up to take a penalty 5 minutes later. City had missed 4 penalties in their last 6 away matches in the Premier League. However, the Belgian made no such mistake and scored the winner that gives his side very valuable 2 away goals in their kitty heading into the return leg.
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