Man City midfielder De Bruyne led a 4-1 Manchester derby mauling on Sunday, and believes United are not fit enough to adopt Rangnick’s high-tempo pressing style
Kevin De Bruyne taunted Manchester United after their derby mauling by claiming they lacked the stamina to compete with Pep Guardiola’s side.
Man City secured an emphatic 4-1 win, with De Bruyne scoring twice and setting up another as the Blues took a huge step towards retaining the title, opening up a six-point lead over Liverpool, who have a game in hand.
Interim United boss Ralf Rangnick has tried to implement a high-pressing style since taking charge, similar to Guardiola at City and Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
But De Bruyne suggested United’s players do not have the required energy and fitness levels to sustain such an approach for 90 minutes, in a damning assessment of their current squad.
“When you play a pressing style, it’s very hard to adjust to it, so maybe it seemed like they did give up a little,” said De Bruyne.
“It’s very hard to do it for 90 minutes as a team.
“I was watching [from the bench] the last 10 minutes, 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.
“It might have looked comfortable, but it’s hard work.
“United set up more pressing, they did it differently, but in the second-half we found the spaces. We learned from our mistakes in the first half.”
City’s game against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on April 10 is shaping up to be a title decider, with the winners in pole position to be champions.
“Yeah it could be, but it’s so far away,” said De Bruyne. “There’s a lot of important games in between.
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“A lot can change between now and then. We can lose games or they can.
“So I’m not necessarily watching out now for that game. We push each other to be the best version we can be.
“All we can do as a team and as individuals is try to win every game. Hopefully in the end we’ll win it, but there’s still a long way to go.”