Kevin De Bruyne says Manchester City trained to target Arsenal’s goal kicks to help them create chances in their 4-1 win over the Gunners.
The Blues now have their title destiny in their own hands, sitting just two points behind the league leaders with two games in hand. De Bruyne unlocked Arsenal with a super strike on seven minutes before assisting John Stones as City grabbed a second shortly before half-time.
The Belgian added a second in the second-half and could have even completed the game with a hat-trick. De Bruyne said his team performed better in the first 45 minutes than the second and outlined what City had tried to expose in Arsenal’s game.
“In the beginning, we trained a little bit on the goal kick and how we could deal with that and I think we had a couple of chances that way,” he told BT Sport.
“When they play man-to-man you have to go a little bit longer because there’s no place to play short passes.
“The first half was really good and we could have scored more but luckily the second goal isn’t offside and I think that changes the game.
“In the second half I think it was about 50-50 but I don’t think we gave too much away to them and they’re very class team and hard to play against. We had to be at our best today and I think we were.”
De Bruyne has so often assisted Erling Haaland this season, but it was the Norwegian who set up his teammate with two assists on the night.
The striker bagged assists for both of the No.17’s goals and De Bruyne explained how City altered their tactics to outfox Arsenal.
“We set up a little bit differently where maybe we would have two number eights and now I had a little bit more freedom to go to the left and right, see where this space was depending on who was putting pressure from them between [Thomas] Partey and [Granit] Xhaka.”