De Bruyne explains what Man Utd critics missed in their harsh derby rants

Kevin De Bruyne Man City Man Utd 2021-22Getty Images

Kevin De Bruyne has become an unlikely defender of rival Manchester United, with the Manchester City star saying critics of the Red Devils' derby performance on Sunday may have been too harsh.

After Manchester City won 4-1, pundits Gary Neville and Roy Keane branded Manchester United a "disgrace" and suggested they gave up at the end of the game.

However, De Bruyne believes his side's decisive victory was simply the result of their ability to overcome Ralf Rangnick's aggressive tactics.

What has been said?

"It's difficult to say [United gave up] when you play a pressing style it's very hard to adjust to it so maybe it just seemed like they did give up a little," De Bruyne told reporters.

"It's very hard to do it for 90 minutes as a team.

"First half it was a bit more difficult, they pressed us a bit higher than they normally do but in the second half we found the spaces where we needed to be.

"I was watching the last 10 minutes and it felt like they were a little bit out, so the spaces got a bit bigger. I wouldn't necessarily say that they gave up, it's hard to say that."

Man Utd defend themselves

Rangnick and midfielder Scott McTominay also said they didn't believe Manchester United gave up.

Article continues below

“To be honest, I didn’t have the impression that they didn’t try. But it’s difficult against a team like Man City once you are 3-1 down (against) the best team in possession of the ball on the planet," Rangnick said.

Added McTominay to Sky Sports: "From my point of view, on the pitch, it's hard to see what's going on around you but if that's what people are saying then so be it. They're all entitled to their own opinion but, for myself, it's incredibly disappointing if people think that."

Further reading