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Kevin de Bruyne Focus


De Bruyne (right) celebrates his first goal for City

De Bruyne (right) celebrates his first goal for City

De Bruyne (right) celebrates his first goal for City

Kevin de Bruyne made his full debut for Manchester City in their Premier League defeat to West Ham on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at how the £54million signing fared at the Etihad Stadium.


With David Silva injured in the warm-up, De Bruyne was given the chance to play in the number 10 position he loves so much. It soon transpired that Manuel Pellegrini had given him licence to roam, however, as he ended up occupying all three positions behind Sergio Aguero at different times during the match. His task was to sit just behind the City striker and pick holes in the West Ham back four, which he did superbly well even though City lost the match.


De Bruyne earned his big-money move to City because of his assists record for Wolfsburg. Last season he set up more goals than any player in the top five leagues in Europe and he was a constant menace to the West Ham back four all evening. With little more than three minutes on the clock he had whipped in two dangerous crosses. A stunning cross-field pass then drew an error from Aaron Cresswell, but Aguero could not capitalise. De Bruyne completed the simple passes well to keep City's tempo high, and he also produced a number of stunning efforts, like the one that slipped Jesus Navas into the box in the 65th minute. The only black mark against his name was a poor corner just after the hour which failed to beat the first man.


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De Bruyne's main role was a creative one, but he also found the net with an impressive low drive in first-half injury-time. With City 2-0 down, they needed a boost and De Bruyne delivered it, striking a peach of a right-footed shot into Adrian's right-hand corner from 20 yards.


City lost their 100 per cent record but at least De Bruyne provided them with some reason for optimism. The Belgian floated around the front third of the pitch, attempting to slice open the West Ham defence to good effect. He took his goal superbly, too. He may have cost a club-record fee, but on this evidence, the money looks well spent.

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