Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne suggested Manchester City's failure to get their hands on the Champions League trophy is the "only criticism we can get" ahead of their decisive second-leg showdown with Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
After an enthralling first leg at the Etihad Stadium last week, a pulsating encounter which Pep Guardiola's men edged 4-3, the tie is perfectly poised heading into the second leg at the home of the newly-crowned La Liga champions.
Since returning from injury, De Bruyne has played an integral role in his side's domestic and European trophy exploits. The 30-year old praised City's persistence and admitted failure to go the distance in the Champions League is their only downfall.
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"The fact we have not won it yet is the only criticism we can get. The rest, we have been there loads of times, fighting to win it.
"The consistency has been amazing, pretty much as good as anyone else. We just need to get over the line and Wednesday is another step."
Having played a key role for City in the first leg, opening the scoring inside 90 seconds, De Bruyne has backed his team to match those performance levels and admits they cannot afford to fall short of their standards.
"I think if we play the way we played last week, we have the potential to be one of the best teams but we have to show that. If we play below that, Madrid can win because they are also one of the best teams and the quality they have is amazing. I back my team to perform at the high level needed to win the game."
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The Belgian, who has netted seven goals in his last 10 games in all competitions, believes his team are more equipped to succeed compared to 2016, when they were beaten by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, and hopes the players can give the fans an exciting spectacle.

"We are in better shape now. I think we are a better team with a better set-up, we play better and we have more experience now. Hopefully, we are better prepared. Everybody is anticipating a great game and we will try to bring out the best we have and hopefully progress to Paris."
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In the first leg, De Bruyne himself set City on their way, opening the scoring inside two minutes before Gabriel Jesus quickly doubled the hosts advantage. City should have been out of sight and were left to rue squandered opportunities when Karim Benzema pulled one back for Carlo Ancelotti's men before the break.
In a frantic second half, Phil Foden swiftly restored City's two-goal advantage but Vinicius Junior replied instantly to make it 3-2 with half an hour to play. Bernardo Silva netted a fourth allowing City fans to breath easier, only for Benzema to respond with an audacious penalty leaving the score at 4-3 ahead of the eagerly-anticipated second leg.
Guardiola and his City team have the chance to move to within one hurdle of the only accolade which has alluded them under the Spaniard's leadership, while Real Madrid will be hoping their most recent domestic title can breed confidence, propelling them to Paris and dashing the dreams of an all-English affair in the French capital.
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