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What Kevin De Bruyne told Riyad Mahrez ahead of game-winning free-kick for Man City against PSG.

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What Kevin De Bruyne told Riyad Mahrez ahead of game-winning free-kick for Man City against PSG.

What Kevin De Bruyne told Riyad Mahrez

Kevin De Bruyne allowed Riyad Mahrez to take the game-winning free-kick against PSG as long as he believed in himself.

After a pulsating first half, Manchester City were trailing 1-0 at half-time in the Champions League semi-final first leg. De Bruyne equalised after his cross fortuitously curled into the net.

Manchester City later won a free-kick five minutes later and it looked like De Bruyne would take it. However, it was Mahrez who stepped up to fire the ball through PSG’s defensive wall and into the net.

Speaking to BT Sport post-match, De Bruyne said he had agreed to let Mahrez take it due to his self-belief.

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“He asked me if he could take it and I said: ‘If you believe in yourself, take it’.

“I have full confidence in my team, and he scored the goal, so who am I to say something about that?”

De Bruyne praised the way City were able to react to falling behind and make changes in order to put in a powerful second-half performance that canceled PSG’s attacking threat.

He said:
“I think it was a game of two halves. We started well in the first 10 minutes and had some control but they’re an unbelievable team and they have great quality upfront.

“It’s a shame about the way we conceded, I think after that they had a couple of small chances.

“After 25 minutes, we changed our pressure, the way we pressed them and it became better. We had a couple of opportunities – especially the one with Phil Foden – but I think the second half was much, much better.

“We put them under pressure, obviously the way that the first goal goes in is a little bit lucky but I think we played great football in the second half. We did well there.”

“I think in the first half, we were too rushed, we wanted to go forward too quickly and that’s not the way we are set up as a team.

“In the second half, we tried to find the spaces more patiently and I think we did that.

“Obviously, they’re a really tough team to play against and the progression we made as a team was good.”

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