The Parc des Princes stadium is not the easiest place to play in. Paris Saint-Germain have been rampant this season winning the Ligue 1 title in record time and when their opponents in the UEFA Champions League lined up, Manchester City, there was a fear that City would be blown away.
That was exactly what happened at the start of the game with PSG winning a penalty but Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw it saved by the returning Joe Hart. Ibra did have a couple of other good chances to score but it was Kevin De Bruyne who did the damage at the other end by grabbing the first goal of the game.
De Bruyne, who had been out of the squad for nearly two months, was excellent in his finishing to beat Kevin Trapp and even though the match ended 2-2, the Belgian had done his bit in the attacking third for Manchester City.
This wasn’t a great performance by the teams on display but rather by an individual who stole the show. While Zlatan will be ruing his misses, De Bruyne exploded down the right and with a sweetly timed shot beat Trapp, thus showing what Manchester City have lacked in the games that he has missed this season.
A Welcome Return to the team
With the likes of Jesus Navas, Raheem Sterling and David Silva all not performing to their usual standards this season, alright, Navas can be counted out as a great performer, City have lost a lot of bite in attack.
Navas and Sterling are two quick players but they do not have the composure to pick out the right player or keep their calm when one-on-one with the goalkeeper. That is the maturity that Kevin De Bruyne has and he would have been a great foil to work with David Silva as they kept on switching positions from the centre to the wing.
De Bruyne’s absence from injury is primarily the reason for Manchester City’s slide down the league table. Of course, the announcement of Pep Guardiola picking up the job at the end of the season does play its part but the Belgian was the star for the Manchester side before he picked up his injury.
Sergio Aguero is the top scorer for the team but De Bruyne also has 15 goals to his name in all competitions this season. The 24-year-old also has nine assists to his name and that is something which the side has been missing as well.
De Bruyne provides the side with another dimension which David Silva does not. His movement, pace and passing ability certainly makes him a threat for Manchester City and often helps Sergio Aguero and Silva find space as the Belgian takes on defenders.
The Belgian certainly is a welcome addition to the side now but it seems it is too little too late for the side to make a push for the league title. Who knows, De Bruyne and City could well clinch the Champions League based on the showing we saw in Paris last night.