NEWS: Kevin De Bruyne admits he has been surprised by how well he has done since returning from injury… as the Man City star insists he ‘feels good’ and is ‘taking care’ of himself

Kevin De Bruyne says even he has surprised himself in returning from his hamstring surgery so seamlessly to re-establish his telepathic understanding with Erling Haaland.

De Bruyne assisted four of Haaland\’s five goals in their FA Cup victory over Luton, whose strategy in going man-for-man led to a bruising evening at Kenilworth Road.

In a warning to Erik ten Hag and Manchester United ahead of this Sunday’s Premier League showdown, City won 6-2 against that tactical approach, with 21-year-old Teden Mengi the unfortunate defender tasked with tying down Haaland.

Five-goal Erling Haaland back to clinical best with help of Kevin De Bruyne

There was no stopping the striker when being fed by the brilliant De Bruyne, who is now on 12 assists despite missing six months of the season through his injury.

One of Haaland’s five goals involved him holding up a long ball, giving it to De Bruyne, turning and sprinting forward without ever looking back – because he knew the assist was coming. While it was a brave plan from Luton, it was one ultimately undone by this deadliest of duos as they gratefully accepted the space they were afforded.

De Bruyne told the media afterwards: ‘I did not worry (about his hamstring injury) but I did not expect to come back in this way, if I am being honest.

‘It was one of those games where you get a lot of one-v-ones and there\’s a lot of space. If you can find the right angles, you get a lot of opportunities. We figured out a way to hurt them and Erling scored the goals so it was good.

Luton vs Man City LIVE highlights and reaction as Haaland scores five, four  assists for De Bruyne - Manchester Evening News

‘If you play quickly, it’s very hard because they control it more but once you get the understanding of keeping the ball for a little bit more it\’s hard for them and there\’s a lot of space. That’s the way they play. It’s hard but we figured out a way.’

On the Manchester derby, De Bruyne added: ‘We are doing well, winning most of the games. It\’s hard because every opponent gives something else. Bournemouth and Luton play man vs man and Copenhagen is more tight. It’s still a derby and I know sometimes they do well when they have been struggling and we will try to give a good performance on Sunday.’