Kevin De Bruyne setting the standard at Manchester City, says Pep Guardiola

Kevin De Bruyne scored his seventh goal of the season on Saturday. (AP)
Updated 17 December 2017
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Kevin De Bruyne setting the standard at Manchester City, says Pep Guardiola

MANCHESTER: Pep Guardiola said Kevin De Bruyne incarnated Manchester City’s future after the Belgian’s sublime display inspired his side to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
De Bruyne smashed in City’s second goal — his seventh of the season — on Saturday and had a hand in their third, scored by Raheem Sterling, who went on to complete a brace as City registered a record-extending 16th successive Premier League win.
De Bruyne’s hurtful passing repeatedly tore holes in the Spurs defense and Guardiola said that ability on the ball, allied to his exemplary work-rate, made him a figurehead for the club’s young players.
“Kevin is one of the most talented players and you see how he runs without the ball,” said the City manager. “You cannot imagine how good he plays with the ball, but he runs like a player in the Conference (semi-professional) league. It’s a good example for the young players, for our academy, for Phil Foden, for Brahim (Diaz). They know how good Kevin De Bruyne is. And when they see how he runs and he fights without the ball, that is the best example.
“He helps us to be a better club, a better institution for the future. Because that is what we want to do. His performance today, I have no words.”
The one-sided win at a misty Etihad Stadium matched Guardiola’s best winning run with Barcelona from their all-conquering 2010-11 season and stands three wins short of his own record for Europe’s five major leagues, which he set at Bayern Munich in 2013-14.
“Of course I’m proud,” said Guardiola. “I don’t want to be humble right now. I’m proud with my staff to achieve that with three teams, every day being there. We work a lot and the players know that. And of course that’s happened because I was with three amazing clubs: Barcelona, Bayern Munich and this one. All three clubs supported me, all the decisions we believe in and they provide me with outstanding players. Without good players and the club supporting your ideas, it’s impossible to achieve this kind of thing.”


‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

Updated 19 June 2018
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‘Captain fantastic’ Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death

  • Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
  • England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes

VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.