Belfast Telegraph

League Cup glory is just the start for Manchester City, says De Bruyne

 

Mark Mann-Bryans

Kevin de Bruyne has revealed that Manchester City's Carabao Cup celebrations were kept to a minimum as they now focus on adding more trophies to the cabinet this season.

Pep Guardiola collected his first silverware in England as his side blew Arsenal away to win 3-0 at Wembley on Sunday.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a smart finish before captain Vincent Kompany doubled the lead after the interval, with David Silva rounding off a sound beating for the Gunners.

It was a tremendous reaction from City to crashing out of the FA Cup at League One Wigan just six days earlier.

That ended all talk of Guardiola's side winning a quadruple this season, but they remain heavy favourites to lift the Premier League title - boasting a 13-point lead over neighbours Manchester United with a game in hand - while they are also in the running to win a maiden Champions League title.

With such lofty ambitions, De Bruyne admitted the Wembley celebrations were somewhat muted as the players prepare for a league clash with the Gunners at the Emirates on Thursday.

"It was quite mellow," he said when asked about the dressing room after the game. "It is very nice to win but it is just the beginning, we still have a lot to play for and Thursday is another game. It is very nice to already have a title in the bag, we have had a wonderful season until now and I think we deserved it.

"Now we have to go on and try to win the Premier League and do well in the Champions League."

All three of the goals came from players who have been at City before Guardiola arrived at the Etihad and set about overhauling the squad with a massive budget.

Guardiola himself praised the effect the likes of Kompany, Silva and Aguero have on the squad and De Bruyne echoed the sentiments of his manager.

"I think they help the younger lads to focus on what they have to do," he added.

"Obviously they have been at the club for so long, so everybody knows their value, it was a very good performance from the team and it was nice to win this trophy.

"A lot of young players didn't win a lot in their career. So it will help them to get the experience of playing this game, the way you need to handle it, the way you need to end it, yes it will help them in the end."

Meanwhile, Ilkay Gundogan claims City's Cup final win over Arsenal will have little bearing on Thursday's game.

The midfielder said: "We know Arsenal are able to play, they have a strong team.

"It is going to be challenging and we need to be ready. It won't be easy. It is just maybe a bit weird to play them twice in four days."

City's busy schedule then continues with a home game against Chelsea on Sunday, again in the Premier League, and then the second leg of their Champions League tie against Basel next week.

Gundogan admitted: "There are still plenty of huge games to play and the next one is Arsenal on Thursday. It doesn't stop.

"There is not really a break to relax. Now we try to prepare for the game on Thursday and try to get another win."

The German international also added: "We were disappointed to lose against Wigan in the FA Cup. It was not easy after that game, the feelings of the players.

"But it always continues. We always need to go on. This was the first final and we won it.

"That is very important, to win the finals."

Belfast Telegraph

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