Champions League

Pellegrini purrs over 'perfect' De Bruyne

2015-10-22 08:46
Manuel Pellegrini (Supplied)
Manuel Pellegrini (Supplied)

Manchester - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini branded Kevin De Bruyne the "perfect" signing after the Belgian forward's 91st-minute goal snatched a 2-1 Champions League victory over Sevilla.

With Wednesday's Group D game at the Etihad Stadium poised at 1-1, Pellegrini rejigged his attack by moving De Bruyne up front and the change paid off when the 24-year-old fired home left-footed from Yaya Toure's pass.

It was De Bruyne's first Champions League goal since his club-record ‎£55 million transfer from Wolfsburg and it had the effect of lifting City three points clear of Sevilla and to within a point of leaders Juventus at the group's halfway point.

"We bought Kevin because we thought he was a very creative player and he has goals in him," Pellegrini told his post-match press conference.

"This team always tries to play attractive and offensive football and for that you need good players. I think that in all senses, he was the perfect player to arrive to our team."

De Bruyne's strike, his seventh in nine games for club and country, was City's reward for a dogged display in which they weathered several spells of Sevilla pressure.

City trailed for only six minutes, Adil Rami's own goal cancelling out Yehven Konoplyanka's 30th-minute opener, and yet prior to a late surge by the Premier League leaders, it was the Spanish side who looked the more likely winners.

But after an opening 2-1 loss to Juventus, City have now come from behind to win twice, having beaten Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 on their previous outing courtesy of a last-minute Sergio Aguero penalty.

"It's important because we won both games in the last minute and in both games we were one goal down," Pellegrini said.

"Maybe you've had a lot of criticism about this team in Europe, but I think that these two last games reflect that we have the character to try to win.

"We will try to improve our play, but for me the character, concentration and intensity to win in Europe is also very important."

City will now switch their thoughts to Sunday's trip to Manchester United and Pellegrini said they would approach the derby with a spring in their step.

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