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City can rescue quarter-final tie at Etihad, insists De Bruyne


Liverpool (AFP) – Kevin de Bruyne has insisted Manchester City can overcome a 3-0 first-leg deficit to Liverpool and turn their Champions League quarter-final around.

English champions-elect City suffered a thumping defeat away to their Premier League rivals on Wednesday in yet another memorable European night at Anfield.

The return leg takes place at the Etihad on Tuesday and, by then, City could have secured the Premier League title with six games to spare if they beat local rivals Manchester United on Saturday.

City and Belgium midfielder De Bruyne is well aware of the scale of the task confronting Pep Guardiola’s side but stressed it was not beyond them. 

“We know it’s going to be difficult. We need to focus on Saturday and then we will try everything in our power to get a result against Liverpool,” De Bruyne said.

“They are going to be the big favourites but I think we have played a lot of games where it was possible to score three goals, so why not?,” he added.

“Obviously they have a big advantage. It’s not impossible, it’s difficult.

“You never know. The way this team plays, everything is possible. But it’s going to need something special.”

Liverpool were roared on by a raucous crowd at Anfield and De Bruyne hopes the tables will be turned by City supporters at the Etihad.  

“It would be nice, obviously,” the 26-year-old added. “It’s difficult because the circumstances are different but we will be up for it.

“Probably they got a lot of inspiration from their fans. Hopefully we can have the same on Tuesday. It’s football. You never know what is going to happen. We have a lot of confidence in our qualities so we’ll see.

“If they (Liverpool) go through and they deserve it, that’s the way it goes.

“We tried to do everything in our power to win, to go through, but we’ll see.

“First is Saturday, it’s another game. Hopefully we can do well and win it.”

City’s team bus came under attack on its way into Anfield, with at least one of the windows broken as a result of thrown bottles. 

The damage was so extensive a replacement bus was needed to take the squad back to Manchester.

“I already saw (things like this) before,” said De Bruyne. “It happens…Obviously it’s not nice if you see windows breaking, that’s not a good thing.”

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