Guardiola Pleased With De Bruyne's Return From Injury

Pep Guardiola could not hide his delight at Kevin De Bruyne's return from a five-month injury lay-off on Sunday.

Guardiola Pleased With De Bruyne's Return From Injury

De Bruyne was a 57th minute substitute when the European champions brushed aside Huddersfield 5-0 in the third round of the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium.

The 32-year-old was making his first appearance since August when he picked up a hamstring injury in the opening game of the season against Burnley.

It did not take long for De Bruyne to get back to his old habits as he laid on an assist for Jeremy Doku to score City's fifth goal of the day.

City manager Guardiola said: “He played really good minutes. We thought it was better to play the second half than from the beginning when the game was tighter.

“It was so difficult to find space. They defended so so deep and were really well organised, compact.

“It was really good and now, as I said before, he needs to accumulate training sessions and more training sessions, more than games. Still he is not ready for 90 minutes.

“Kevin helps to win games and there are few (like him) in the world. We can play good football-wise but Kevin, (Erling) Haaland, Phil (Foden), Julian (Alvarez) – these guys win games.

“That’s why it’s so important to have him back. Kevin is exceptional, he is unique.

“He was a long time out with surgery. His first minutes, the quality of the assist for the Jeremy (Doku) goal – it’s really good to have him back.”