Pep Guardiola has declared that Kevin De Bruyne “is back” after he put in an “amazing” performance as Man City beat Leicester City 1-0.
The Premier League were without Erling Haaland for this game as he is suffering from a fever and an ankle knock.
City were frustrated for large portions of the clash with Leicester City, who defended well to keep out their opponents.
De Bruyne proved to be the match-winner in the end as he netted a free-kick shortly after the interval.
The Belgium international produced a perfect set-piece that flew into the top-left corner past Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward.
This is City’s second straight league win since their 1-0 defeat against Liverpool. This places them one point clear of Arsenal at the top of the table before the Londoners face Nottm Forest on Sunday.
Guardiola was full of praise for De Bruyne post-match after he was “not playing good” for a few weeks.
“They changed it and it was a difficult game, because they had 10 players so deep and it’s so difficult,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
“After we scored the goal they changed their rhythm and in the Premier League, the last few minutes are always difficult. It’s a massive victory for us.
“Kevin de Bruyne is back. He was not playing good the last few games but today he was amazing. He knows it. There was no space today, we had to be patient.”
De Bruyne added: “We made it difficult for ourselves, we were a bit tired.
“They were very negative for 70 minutes but then their changes made it a different game. We didn’t keep the ball in their half but we still could have scored a second.
“The free-kick goes perfectly, luckily it’s 1-0. Ederson has been great, sometimes we only talk about his distribution but he’s a great keeper and he proves it every week.
“We have proved we can win with or without Erling Haaland.”
Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers admitted post-match that his players “lacked belief at times” against City.
“The players carried out the gameplan as well as we could have asked them to. You have to still be in the game with 20 minutes to go. Defensively we were very, very good but we lacked belief at times and that let us down.
“We had good chances in the game and we were unfortunate not to nick something. You have to concede that you are playing arguably the best team in the world, they can play through you and around you.
“There are lots of elements we can be better in. But the spirit of the team and the mentality was we kept fighting.”