Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has revealed that it took only 15 minutes of work on the training ground to devise a key part of their plan for beating Manchester United.
Pep Guardiola’s side put in a superb performance to win 3-1 at Old Trafford in last night’s Carabao Cup semi-final, with Bernardo Silva playing a starring role in a slightly new position.
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City altered their tactics to deploy Silva as a false nine, with regular strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both left on the bench against Man Utd.
It didn’t take long for the plan to take effect, with Silva scoring a superb opening goal and later grabbing an assist in his new role.
Remarkably, De Bruyne says this tactical change didn’t require too much effort and preparation, which is perhaps even more damning for United as they suffered such a poor result to all but end their hopes of making the Carabao Cup final.
“We did 15 minutes on it in the morning, that’s about it,” De Bruyne told Sky Sports.
“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.”