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Kevin De Bruyne’s belief in the Manchester City way remains rock solid

Champions League battering by Barcelona gives critics plenty of ammunition but fails to undermine midfielder’s backing for Pep Guardiola’s methods

It was not difficult to detect the prickliness in Kevin De Bruyne. Was Lionel Messi from another planet, the Manchester City forward was asked. “No, otherwise he wouldn’t be here,” De Bruyne shot back.

It had been another Messi masterclass; another night to emboss the theory that no matter what opposing teams try it can never be enough to suppress this force of nature. And, goodness knows, City tried – with a multilayered plan. They departed Barcelona on Wednesday having endured a 4-0 Champions League defeat. Messi scored the 37th hat-trick of his career.

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