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Kevin de Bruyne complains about pre-season schedule after Man City beat Liverpool

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Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne gestures during the English FA Community Shield football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 4, 2019

Image credit: Getty Images

ByEurosport UK
04/08/2019 at 15:42 | Updated 04/08/2019 at 17:42

Kevin de Bruyne does not believe Manchester City will start the Premier League season fully fit because of the nature of modern pre-season training.

De Bruyne won the Man of the Match award but City needed penalties to edge past Liverpool after Joel Matip had cancelled out Raheem Sterling's first-half strike.

Claudio Bravo saved Georginio Wijnaldum's spot-kick, the Dutchman the only man to miss, to give Gabriel Jesus the chance to seal victory for Pep Guardiola's side.

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But the game was lacking in polish on both sides and De Bruyne admitted afterwards that less than a week from the start of the Premier League season, City are still short of match fitness.

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"The good thing is we always play the same system so we know what we have to do and the style we play," De Bruyne told BT Sport.

"But obviously some guys just came back two days ago and the rest of us have only trained two or three weeks.

"Pre-season there are more commercials these days than training.

"I think the month of August is really important to get your fitness up and to get game time because for most of the guys this was the first 90 minutes of the season so it was a really important game in that sense.

"You can still see it's early pre-season. Both teams are not physically ready yet."

Kevin de Bruyne of Manchester City in action during the training session at Manchester City Football Academy on July 31, 2019 in Manchester, England

Image credit: Getty Images

He added: "It's always going to be tough [between Liverpool and Man City]. There are moments that we're going to control and moments that they are going to control, especially at this moment of the season.

"We could have scored, they could have scored. It was a really open game."

Mo Salah thought he had won the game for Liverpool in stoppage time but his looping header was spectacularly cleared off the line by defender Kyle Walker.

"I'm a defender. I stop goals so I'm glad I could help the team out. [The attackers] help us out all the time by scoring so that one's for them!" Walker said.

Manchester City's English defender Kyle Walker clears off the line during the English FA Community Shield football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 4, 2019

Image credit: Getty Images

The England international was also grateful to get his hands on the first silverware of the season, which is also the fifth consecutive domestic trophy won by City.

"For me growing up, the Community Shield was a big one," Walker added.

"It starts off the season and it can start off our momentum. Hopefully we can replicate what we did last year."

Liverpool start their Premier League season on Friday night at Anfield against Norwich while City will begin their title defence away at West Ham on Saturday lunchtime.

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