Belfast Telegraph

Pellegrini is cautious after De Bruyne's magical return

Manuel Pellegrini has insisted that fit-again Kevin de Bruyne is not an automatic selection for Manchester City's Champions League quarter-final first leg at Paris St Germain on Wednesday night.

Belgium forward De Bruyne transformed City's attacking threat in spearheading Saturday's 4-0 thumping of Bournemouth, in his first game since January after ligament trouble.

The 24-year-old was deployed just off Sergio Aguero but spent much of the Vitality Stadium encounter operating almost as a false nine, creating acres of space for David Silva.

De Bruyne scored City's second goal with the move of the match, sweeping home a side-footed volley after Silva had laid off Aguero's pass.

Fernando and Aguero struck for City either side of De Bruyne's gem, to leave City 3-0 up inside 20 minutes and Aleksandar Kolarov rifled a fourth late on.

Pellegrini remains adamant De Bruyne must be reassessed before being cleared to face PSG, but there can be little doubt the former Chelsea man will feature in Paris.

"We are going to see, because now we can start preparing," said Pellegrini, when asked if De Bruyne will be ready to take on PSG.

"We've seen the way he played at Bournemouth and now we have to see how he recovers. We'll assess that and then decide.

"Of course it's a boost that he's in contention, because he's a very important player."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph