De Bruyne saves Etheridge by saying goal was unintentional
Kevin de Bruyne capped his Man-of-the-Match showing against Cardiff City yesterday morning (Singapore time) with a brilliant goal in his first full match in over a month.
But the Manchester City midfielder's heroics did not stop there.
After the match, he saved Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge from getting fined - by telling Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock that he had meant to cross and not shoot when he blasted the ball past the Philippine international from a tight angle in the sixth minute.
At full-time, the television cameras picked on Etheridge, Warnock and de Bruyne having a joke as they walked off the pitch, reported the Manchester Evening News.
Warnock, who said Etheridge should have saved de Bruyne's goal, revealed at the press conference that the Belgian told him he did not mean to score.
Warnock told Sky Sports: "It's funny because coming off, I had a chat with (Etheridge) because he knows he should've saved the first one.
"But he says, 'Gaffer he didn't mean it', so I shouted to Kevin, 'Tell me the truth, did you mean it?'. He said, 'No, I didn't', so I'll let him off."
Following de Bruyne's opener, City strutted and moved the ball with their customary ease, but it was not until a minute before the break that Leroy Sane made it 2-0 with a left-foot drive after a clever chest pass from Gabriel Jesus.
With the result, City went back to the top of the English Premiership with a one-point advantage over Liverpool but boss Pep Guardiola felt they should have had a bigger victory.
Their destiny remains in their hands, however.
If City win all their six games, they will retain the title and, after winning their last eight league games in a row and 21 of their last 22 in all competitions, they certainly are capable of finishing the season in such style.
"We have the feeling if we drop points, we will not be champions," said Guardiola.
"With the chances we created, we should have scored more, that's the regret but the other side it was really good."
City will now turn their attention to the second step of their Quadruple dream, taking on Brighton in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday morning (Singapore time).
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