Football

De Bruyne: City’s potential under Guardiola is amazing

De Bruyne and his manager confident League Cup win will pave way for more glory

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is off and running and his English trophy collection could go on to compare with his hauls at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the club's midfielder Kevin de Bruyne said after they won the League Cup yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Spaniard's first season at the City helm was a false start as he ended up without any silverware for the first time in a managerial career which included 11 major trophies with Barcelona and seven at Bayern.

Yesterday's 3-0 crushing victory at Wembley over a dismal Arsenal side will almost certainly be followed by the English Premier League title in coming weeks, while City are also virtually assured of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"We have had a good season already and now we need to keep going," de Bruyne said.

"We have this one in the bag and now we have to maintain the same focus in the EPL and the Champions League.

"The potential for this club is amazing and the way we play is probably one of the best in the world."

City did not even have to be at their best yesterday. Sergio Aguero's goal, his fifth in five consecutive games against Arsenal, divided the sides at the end of a scrappy first half, before City stepped on the gas and pulled away with skipper Vincent Kompany and David Silva both on target.

And Guardiola paid a glowing tribute to the three veterans who delivered the goods at Wembley.

He said that Aguero, Silva and Kompany were three legends who had helped turn the club from perennial under-achievers into regular trophy winners, capable of going toe to toe with the heavyweights of Europe and challenging regularly for honours.

"They help us to understand what it means for the club because they won titles, they put pressure on us to continue to win titles," he said.

"If we are able to win more titles in the future the people who are coming here, they have to know here you have to win titles and that's why it's so, so important."

An emotional Guardiola also added that winning the first silverware is crucial to infusing his runaway EPL leaders with the belief to go on and win bigger prizes.

"It's important," said the Catalan.

"We're so happy and big congratulations to all of Manchester City and our fans. This trophy is for Manchester City and not for me.

"That's why it's important to win titles because it's going to help us win the next games in the Premier League."

City can restore a 16-point lead at the top of the domestic standings if they beat Arsenal at The Emirates this Friday.

However, the Citizens will not have Fernandinho available for that clash, after the midfielder suffered an injury in the League Cup final.

"He's injured. The next games he'll be out. We'll assess him tomorrow, but he's a big, big loss," Guardiola said.

"Now we have to find a solution, to find out which players can play in his position. Now we have a problem in that area."

Brazil international Fernandinho has played in every league match this season, scoring three goals in the process. - AFP, REUTERS

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