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Pep Guardiola issues new challenge to Kevin de Bruyne after latest Man City display

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has been challenged to take his game to the next level by Pep Guardiola following Saturday’s 3-1 win over Brighton at the Etihad

Pep Guardiola watched Kevin de Bruyne sink Brighton with a stunning strike – and then insisted that the midfield maestro needs to improve.

Manchester City closed the gap on Arsenal at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over the Seagulls, who trailed at the half-time interval courtesy of a brace from the irrepressible Erling Haaland. Leandro Trossard fired back for the visitors, but De Bruyne’s moment of magic was enough to put the game beyond Brighton.

Although De Bruyne had already clocked up a staggering 11 assists prior to Saturday’s match, the 31-year-old had just one league goal to his name. And Guardiola is adamant that De Bruyne is still not firing on all cyclinders.

“He can be better. He’s not playing at his top level, Kevin, not yet,” Guardiola said after the match. “He makes a fantastic level but he’s not playing at his best. He knows, I don’t have to tell him. His dynamic is still not perfect. He knows that, I spoke with him. The goal is outstanding; thanks to him we didn’t suffer the last 15-20 minutes.”

Despite Guardiola’s post-match claim, De Bruyne had contributed at least one goal contribution in seven of City’s 10 Premier League matches before Saturday afternoon’s showdown with Brighton.

But Guardiola has insisted that there should still be plenty more to come from the Belgian playmaker, who has been one of the most influential players at the club during the Spaniard’s premiership.

Saturday’s match saw Guardiola lock horns with new Brighton chief Roberto De Zerbi. Guardiola had plenty of praise for the Italian prior to the match, and he admitted after the match that the Seagulls had given them the “toughest” game possible.

“Today the game was one of the toughest ones we can face. They propose a type of game we’re not used to or few teams are used. We don’t have men free, only Ederson, because they play man-to-man so we have to play more direct balls. The type of game we’re not used to but in general, so satisfied with the points because it’s a tricky, tricky game.

He added: “In the first half the game was really good. In the second half we allowed them to play, they have a process that is outstanding. A big admirer for Roberto and the way they want to play. The players feel in locker room.

“The turning point in second half, Riyad has a big chance, normally he doesn’t miss, it’s football. Then we concede. Emotions are there. In that moment they were better. Kevin makes a masterclass action.”

Source: Mirror

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