Kevin De Bruyne: Guardiola Explains Star's Substitution in Feisty Liverpool vs Man City Clash

Kevin De Bruyne: Guardiola Explains Star's Substitution in Feisty Liverpool vs Man City Clash

Martin Moses
updated at March 11, 2024 at 6:34 AM
In this article:
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K. D. Bruyne
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M. Kovačić
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Manchester City
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ENG Premier League
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A. Mac Allister
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  • Pep Guardiola has confirmed he liked Kevin De Bruyne's reaction to being taken off
  • The Man City manager hooked off his star player during their game against Liverpool
  • The change came amid a flurry of attacks from the home side after they had equalised

Pep Guardiola has now shed light on why he took off Kevin De Bruyne during Manchester City's visit to Liverpool on March 10.

The defending champions travelled to Anfield as Guardiola took on Jurgen Klopp for the last time in the Premier League. The Spanish tactician started with his iconic duo of Erling Haaland and De Bruyne up front.

Kevin De Bruyne, Liverpool vs Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp
Kevin De Bruyne tells off Manchester City's technical bench after he was taken off during their game against Liverpool on March 10. Photo by Michael Regan.
Source: Getty Images

It took the ingenuity of the Belgian for the Citizens to take the lead in the 23rd minute. The midfielder stepped up to take a corner kick, and as the whole Liverpool squad waited for him to hoist it up, he found John Stones on the near post, who turned it in.

The lead was cancelled in the 50th minute when a loose backpass from Nathan Ake forced Ederson into committing a foul on Darwin Nunez. Alexis Mac Allister made no mistake from the spot.

With the game evenly poised, Guardiola surprised many when he opted to take off De Bruyne in the 69th minute, introducing Mateo Kovacic in his place.

Guardiola explains why he withdrew De Bruyne

The City number 17 was far from pleased with the decision and gave his manager an earful as he walked past him. Replays show Guardiola going to De Bruyne's place on the bench to explain his decision.

Speaking after the match, the former Barcelona manager had no regrets about taking off his star player, insisting that the decision was necessary as City struggled to wrestle back control.

"I'm happy to see that! I like it if he's upset; it's good. He's happy now. I knew what we were missing; we missed keeping the ball. After he went off, we did it better. After we had Mateo [Kovacic], we could make extra passes when he came on," he said, as captured on the Premier League's website.

The result now leaves Arsenal on top of the Premier League table with 64 points, the same as Liverpool. The Gunners are ahead due to a huge goal difference, with Manchester City just a point back.

Mikel Arteta's side travel to the Etihad Stadium at the end of the month.

Doku's challenge on Mac Allister

At the same time, Sports Brief has also reported that Liverpool were denied a late penalty against Manchester City.

Jeremy Doku appeared to plant his foot on Mac Allister's chest, but referee, Michael Oliver, waved an appeal away.

The challenge came deep into stoppage time, which could have seen Liverpool get a second penalty in the game.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Pep GuardiolaJürgen Klopp