Kevin De Bruyne ‘out for a while’ after Burnley injury, confirms Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Kevin De Bruyne will be ‘out for a time,’ according to Pep Guardiola, after suffering a hamstring injury during Manchester City’s opening Premier League triumph over Burnley.
Midway through the first half, City’s captain was replaced by Mateo Kovacic, who joined the Premier League champions from Chelsea earlier this summer.
While the setback did not disrupt Manchester City’s championship defense, which began with a simple 3-0 victory, the Premier League winners may now be without De Bruyne for some time.
De Bruyne was pulled out with a similar injury in last season’s Champions League final, but Man City nevertheless overcame Inter Milan to complete an unprecedented treble.
‘Unfortunately he is injured again,’ Guardiola said. ‘He said to me it’s a problem in the same position as the Champions League.
‘He recovered well but now we’ve lost him for a time, he will be out for a while. We have to reflect and talk to the doctors and the physios. Now he has to be relaxed, recover and come back. He was feeling really good before.’
Assessing Man City’s performance against promoted Burnley, Guardiola added: ‘We started well. We found a goal, we struggled a bit after. We gave away balls, our pass created problems but after a while we played much, much better.
‘The first game against a newly promoted will always be difficult. They give everything but we were fortunate to find a goal so quick. We gave chance to them and we have to improve.’
It took Premier League Golden Boot holder Erling Haaland less than four minutes to open his account for the 2023-24 season and the Norwegian doubled Manchester City’s lead before half-time.
Rodri added a third with 15 minutes remaining as Man City made a confident start to their title defence and inflicted a deflating defeat on Burnley, who amassed 101 points in the Championship last season.
‘Tonight was never going to be the night to judge Burnley,’ ex-England defender Gary Neville said on Sky Sports. ‘Man City were comfortable in the second half, saw the game out without too much fuss. That’s why they’re champions.’
Haaland, meanwhile, insisted he was more than satisfied with his and Manchester City’s performance as the new Premier League season got underway.
‘Good to start again after two months without football,’ the prolific striker said. ‘And good to start with a win of course.
‘I think we were quite controlled, for the first game of the season, I think we did quite well. We are still kind of in the ‘starting phase’ of this marathon, but it is about not stressing, relaxing and focusing on ourselves.’