Kevin De Bruyne admits Pep Guardiola’s team selection ‘surprised’ Man City stars

Kevin De Bruyne admitted Pep Guardiola 'surprised' the Man City stars with his team selection for the clash with Real Madrid .

Guardiola left Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Fernandinho on the bench for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Bernabeu.

But his decisions paid off as City dominated the match, and came away with an important win after a superb comeback from a goal down.

Gabriel Jesus cancelled out Isco's opener with a guided header, before Kevin De Bruyne stroked home a late penalty after sub Sterling was fouled by Dani Carvajal to earn his side a significant advantage ahead of the return leg.

"It's a very good start," De Bruyne said. "We struggled in the first 15 minutes but you have to go through the storm.

"It was an even first half. We started the second half really well. Their goal came at a bad moment for us – we were dominating. Our response was brilliant. It was a beautiful goal from Gabriel Jesus.

"In four years with Pep, he sometimes surprises. Sometimes players aren't told until the game what we need to do. There were some good and some lesser moments. In a quality game like this, you'll struggle sometimes.

"We're only halfway there. We have an important game at home in three weeks. Now we have to recover for Sunday's final [in the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa]."

Real Madrid's task was made all the more harder by a late sending off for captain Sergio Ramos – the 26th of the veteran's career.

Ramos clipped the back of Jesus' legs, tripping the forward as he raced through on goal in search of a third.

The hosts had been largely stifled by City, who pushed Jesus and Riyad Mahrez out wide in a tactical move to keep Madrid's attack at bay, with De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva leading the attack.

Jesus said: "I can remember my time in the Palmeiras academy and I play like a winger and then become a striker. But I go to the pitch to help my team-mates.

"It doesn't matter if I have to run back or forwards. I have to help my team-mates.

"We are learning a lot. We have to play different positions sometimes."

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