Guardiola took just 15 minutes to plot City’s victory against United

Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has revealed that his teammates spent just 15 minutes plotting the tactics which dismantled city rivals Manchester United in a devastating first half at Old Trafford.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola used Bernardo Silva as the false nine after leaving Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the bench, a move which left United confused in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford.

The Portugal international controlled the game from a deeper position, netting once and having a hand in the other two goals as City stormed into a 3-0 lead inside 38 minutes.

The tactic that was used in the Manchester Derby by Guardiola was a common one during his tenure at Barcelona. It has been used sparingly in his City tenure but De Bruyne said such is the way the manager prepares them they spent only quarter-of-an-hour in the morning of the game working on the set-up.

“We did 15 minutes on it in the morning, that’s about it,” said the Belgium midfielder, who said the players were only told of the team shape on the day of the game.

“We didn’t train that (on Monday), but it’s not like we never did it before – we did it sometimes against teams that prefer to play man-against-man – Cardiff, United, in Barcelona away we did it the first year with Pep, so we’ve done it a couple of times.

“With Bernardo dropping it is four against three in the midfield, so they have to choose what they do – if they put their defender up there is more space behind and if not Bernardo is going to be free and that is what we tried to do.

“I think overall we played well. The second half they tried to put a bit more pressure on us and we made one mistake and they scored from it.

“I don’t think they had a lot of chances and I think we should have scored more but in the end 3-1 is a good advantage.

“We know it is not over but obviously it was a good game for us.”

De Bruyne took responsibility for the goal Marcus Rashford scored which came from City’s loss of possession in the center-circle.

“It’s my mistake. I wanted to play with Rodri and didn’t see the United player. But it happens, we can always look at stupid mistakes – and we could have scored three or four more,” he added.

“We play that way and everyone knows there is space in behind us – it’s the risk we take in the way we play and it’s something we have to calculate.

“We minimized those counter-attacks and played well defensively and offensively.

“You try to be the best possible but always make mistakes in a game. We try to learn and minimize them.

“In the end, you have to create the chances – another time we would score more, and we limited them, so that’s important.

“It isn’t done because I don’t think the rule of away goals is there so they only have to score two and that is always possible, but we prefer to start with a 3-1 advantage.”