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De Bruyne adamant European ban won’t affect Man City after West Ham win

The Belgian star guided his team to victory and stressed they won’t be approaching things differently in the wake of recent off-field drama

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne insisted it is business as usual for the club after a 2-0 Premier League win over West Ham, despite their recent two-year ban from European competitions

Pep Guardiola’s side are challenging UEFA’s ruling relating to Financial Fair Play breaches between 2012 and 2016 with the club insisting they’ve done nothing wrong

A Champions League ban would have massive ramifications for City with a number of players likely to seek new clubs to ensure they can compete in Europe’s premier competition. 

De Bruyne however showed no signs of distraction on Wednesday night as he bagged a goal and assist in City’s routine victory against the Hammers. 

Asked about the club’s European ban post-match, the Belgian star stressed it’s a situation the side won’t be letting affect them on the pitch. 

“Obviously we were on holiday when the statement happened and we came back and just played football,” De Bruyne told Sky Sports

“The situation is what it is. We came back and trained like normal. For us, nothing really changed.

“We still have a lot to play for with the two cups and Champions League so let’s hope we can find rhythm as quickly as possible and win some titles.”

City’s match against West Ham was previously delayed due to severe storms meaning it was the club’s first match in 16 days. 

As such, De Bruyne conceded his side were far from their best as they claimed three points to strengthen their spot on second place – still a massive 22 points shy of league leaders Liverpool

“It was ok. I think we saw its been three weeks without football and we felt a little bit of rustiness but we played a good game,” De Bruyne said.

On Aymeric Laporte’s return, De Bruyne added: “With the ball he’s very confident and gives us options and he’s been doing this for years. He helped us win a lot of titles and is doing really well.

“I know when you’re injured so long it takes time, but the way he performed today will give him confidence and give the team confidence.”

Guardiola’s side next face Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday night with the third-placed Foxes four points shy of City on the table. 

After that match, they’ll head to Spain to tackle Real Madrid in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. 

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