What Kevin De Bruyne did at full time vs Chelsea shows Man City truth amid double chase

Was Manchester City's 'worst performance of the season' actually their best?

City were tired against Chelsea, kicking off less than three days since crashing out of the Champions League following 120 long minutes against Real Madrid. They kept faith with seven of the starters who faced Real and lost two of their fresher players to injury. No wonder they weren't at their best at Wembley. They didn't need to be.

The fact that they still reached a second successive FA Cup final despite all those challenges shows what kind of a team Pep Guardiola has created. 'You are tired? F--- you', he famously said in the Amazon documentary a few years back, and he was unimpressed with Rodri's public complaints of tiredness earlier this month.

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He dismissed the idea that the tight turnaround this week would be an excuse, insisting his side would deal with it. Kevin De Bruyne was 'exhausted' and asked to come off against Madrid but here he was playing 90 minutes at Wembley. He's still not back to his best and the scope for him to get a much-needed rest to reset is non-existent. But for all his on-pitch frustrations and a fair few misplaced passes, he was at the heart of City's winning goal.

As Guardiola has also said - De Bruyne doesn't help you play better but he helps you to win games. And that's all City needed to do on Saturday. De Bruyne was named man of the match by the BBC commentators, but it was Bernardo who went from zero to hero in the space of three days.

He popped up at the back post - from De Bruyne's deflected cross - to score the all-important winner at Wembley. He was derided outside of the CFA for his missed penalty three days ago, and here he was keeping the double double dream alive, with 210 minutes in three days.

Phil Foden was bright again despite all the minutes, Rodri looked like a dead man walking fitness-wise but continued to throw himself in front of shots. Manu Akanji covered John Stones' fitness issues to be the marauding centre-back to decent effect in another big game. Jack Grealish continued his fine form and when he was replaced for the second game running, Jeremy Doku created the decisive goal.

City may be walking wounded, with only 16 fit outfield players after the latest injury issues at Wembley, but they have a spirit that drags them through. The luck that deserted them against Real Madrid was on their side here.

When the full time whistle blew, City players discovered a new lease of life. De Bruyne, Rodri and Grealish (substituted after a nasty-looking kick) all sprinted to the City end. De Bruyne hailed the character and resilience in the side. Guardiola looked amazed at what his players had just produced.

It may not have been vintage City in terms of performance, but it was absolutely 'typical City' in terms of character. The notion of 'Typical City' being a negative thing is slowly becoming a guarantee of hard work and grit to underline their sick play when everything comes together.

So for everyone online claiming this was City's worst performance of the season, that they were lucky, maybe they earned their luck this time. Maybe they're a side who can win when playing badly. And maybe they're still on for a double. And maybe De Bruyne doesn't need to play well if he continues to win games.