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Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne: Comeback win shows our character

Belgian adds that City, who had less possession, have shown another way of winning

Kevin de Bruyne said Manchester City know the hard work they have to put in after they came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 and leapfrog them into third place in the English Premier League.

Liverpool's late win at Crystal Palace earlier on Saturday meant City started 12 points behind the leaders and looked in danger of failing to cut that gap when N'Golo Kante gave Chelsea a deserved lead midway through the first half.

However, de Bruyne's deflected strike breathed new life into Pep Guardiola's men and a trademark left-footed finish from Riyad Mahrez saw City edge a thrilling encounter.

"We had a couple of chances at the beginning and didn't hit the target," de Bruyne told Sky Sports.

"They scored, but then we reacted with two quick goals.

"In the second half, we kept it tight - they might have had more of the ball, but we created the better chances.

"We don't care what happens to other teams - Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea - we have to keep running. We know after the last two years the hard work we have to put in."

The game also marked the first time that a team coached by Pep Guardiola had won despite not having the majority of possession.

The possession stat of 46.74 per cent during City's victory was the lowest recorded by a side managed by the Spaniard in any of his 381 top-flight matches in charge at his three clubs - Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.

The Spaniard tried to give the impression that he wouldn't be losing any sleep about that piece of data, although it is hard to believe it won't pique his curiosity at the very least.

"There is always one thing in your lifetime that hasn't happened. It happened," he said.

"So, OK, I have another record, I won one game without possession. They (Chelsea) are an incredible team with Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, so it can happen," he said.

Chelsea's midfield was indeed impressive, but Guardiola teams have regularly played against top-quality midfields and still dominated the ball.

Guardiola credited Chelsea's performance on the "courage" of their manager Frank Lampard.

"They are so good, they are an incredible team. Football is becoming like this. Most teams and young managers have spirit and nothing to lose. That's why the football is nice. Chelsea are playing incredibly well," he said.

Lampard acknowledged that his approach had been to take the game to City.

"I wanted to come here and be brave on the ball, be brave off the ball and you saw all of that from us in the first half," he said.

But what will concern Guardiola, when he looks back on the first half in particular, was that his side did not manage to recreate the zippy, crisp, passing game that has been characteristic of their past two seasons.

The tempo was slower and the precision level lower, with the result that Chelsea were able to enjoy plenty of the ball as well as troubling the far-from-secure City backline.

De Bruyne said the game showed there was another way of winning.

"Maybe they had a little more of the ball ,but we created the better chances. So we deserved to win, I guess. It shows the other side we have - we can control the game while defending." - REUTERS