Pep Guardiola has explained why he didn’t start Kevin De Bruyne for Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Everton on Saturday.
The Belgian midfielder had to suffice with a second-half substitute appearance as the Premier League champions struggled to break down a stubborn Toffees defence.
De Bruyne‘s introduction in the 57th minute was instrumental in getting the hosts over the line, assisting Erling Haaland’s second goal as the Norwegian grabbed a late brace.
“I told them, they didn’t believe me. They felt it,” Guardiola told TNT Sports after the final whistle.
“We were there and we didn’t concede a shot on target and of course they are incredibly well organised. At the end the changes in the second half gave us another rhythm and of course Erling is back. To have this player, when the ball is there from a corner… and the finishing was amazing.
“In the first half our body language was not good, we were always complaining. In the second half they were more positive If you want to give the best of yourself the body language has to be in the right position and finally we took a massively important three points.
De Bruyne has impressed since returning from a long term injury, providing a goal and five assists in his last six games in all competitions.
The 32-year-old had started back-to-back games before Saturday’s win, but Guardiola believes that he can sometimes make a bigger difference to the side when coming off the bench.
“Kevin since he came back is so fresh in his mind and legs and that is why sometimes I don’t want to start him and the impact is higher than the beginning.”
The Man City boss added: “It is important how many chances the opponents have. This is the key point and the average is not much.”