Kevin De Bruyne has played down criticism of Manchester United suggesting the Red Devils gave up during their derby defeat to Manchester City by emphasizing that maintaining their new style of pressing for 90 minutes is a difficult task. City secured a 4-1 victory over United on Sunday.
Manchester City hosted Manchester United in Premier League action at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Kevin De Bruyne was the star of the show as he scored two goals and provided an assist for Riyad Mahrez’s first goal in their dominating 4-1 victory over their cross-town rivals.
An unmarked Kevin De Bruyne slotted the ball home in the 5th minute to open the scoring for his side. Jadon Sancho equalized for United in stunning fashion with his shot from outside the box in the 22nd minute. The defending champions quickly retook the lead when De Bruyne scored his second goal following a poor defensive scramble from the United backline.
The Belgian maestro then turned creator after picking out Riyad Mahrez from a corner kick that was smashed home beautifully with a first-time shot in the 68th minute. Pundits Gary Neville and Roy Keane had asserted after the game that United gave up towards the end of the game. The Belgian was quick to emerge as an unlikely candidate for defending United and lauded his side’s abilities in picking their rivals apart.
"It's difficult to say [United gave up] when you play a pressing style it's very hard to adjust to it so maybe it just seemed like they did give up a little. It's very hard to do it for 90 minutes as a team. First half it was a bit more difficult, they pressed us a bit higher than they normally do but in the second half we found the spaces where we needed to be,” De Bruyne told GOAL.
"I was watching the last 10 minutes and it felt like they were a little bit out, so the spaces got a bit bigger. I wouldn't necessarily say that they gave up, it's hard to say that,” he added.