Manchester City talisman Kevin de Bruyne has insisted that his side’s emphatic title triumph last term does not give them an advantage in the race to retain their crown this time out.
The champions recorded a record-breaking 100 points in the Premier League as they stormed to the title last season, finishing a whopping 19 points clear of runners-up Manchester United.
Kevin De Bruyne: “We try to do our best but sometimes the best is not enough, and you have to take it. If Liverpool win the title with 98 points, congratulations, they will have done well.”— Oliver Bond (@Oliver__Bond) February 3, 2019
However, City lost just two games in all of their 38 matches last term and have already lost four in the league this season, with Pep Guardiola’s side now five points adrift of leaders Liverpool. Speaking to Sky Sports, via FourFourTwo, De Bruyne said: “I think Liverpool will be under some pressure because they have not won it for that amount of time [29 years].
“But we have pressure because we were the champions last year and everybody expects us to be one of the title challengers. I’m not sure who has more pressure, but there is pressure on both teams.
“I don’t think knowing how to win the Premier League is an advantage. Last season, most of us didn’t know how to win a league, but sometimes that makes you hungrier if you haven’t won it.
“We are trying to repeat what we did last year and try to win as many games as we can. We will see where we are in two months. If the gap is close, it will be a tight race, and if it’s not, it’s not.”
City slipped to their fourth league defeat of the season against Newcastle in midweek whilst Liverpool also dropped points as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester, with the champions set to host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
De Bruyne insisted that he will not lose hope of catching Liverpool at the top of the league, but also suggested that retaining their title is not the only means by which City can have a successful campaign.
Kevin De Bruyne:— City Watch (@City_Watch) February 2, 2019
"I am doing well. I am happy to be fit. It’s been a long six months for me, but I’m happy that now I can play football. Sometimes I feel good, sometimes I feel a little bit worse or I need a day more to recover." [Mirror] pic.twitter.com/HuUPs22swz
“I personally will go until we cannot mathematically,” the Belgian added. “You have to go game by game. I didn’t watch the Liverpool game but was happy when I saw they drew 1-1, like they were happy when we lost.
“We try to do our best but sometimes the best is not enough, and you have to take it. If Liverpool win the title with 98 points, congratulations, they will have done well.
“But there is still a lot of things to fight for. People may be down but there is still the FA Cup, [EFL] Cup, Champions League, plus we are still fighting in the league. That’s an amazing position to have at the beginning of February.”