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Byline: DAVID McDONNELL @DiscoMirror

IT is a measure of the ruthless nature of Manchester City that Kevin De Bruyne has no sympathy for title runners-up Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds (left) went toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola's champions in an epic battle - but ended up losing out on a Premier League crown by a point.

City made it back-to-back titles and can underline their dominance today by lifting the FA Cup to become the first English side to do the domestic Treble.

And De Bruyne showed the merciless winning mentality instilled by Guardiola with his brutal response when asked if he felt sorry for Liverpool, who racked up 97 points.

"No," said the City star. "It's a remarkable effort, but it means that we were just better than them in the end.

"I don't feel sorry for them, as I don't think they'd feel sorry for us. I don't think anybody felt sorry about the way we went out of the Champions League. You take it.

"I know how they feel, because you're going to feel disappointed. We'd feel the same if it happened to us.

"But we're still competitors. We want to win as much as they do, but I can understand the feelings they have.

"It's the general view of athletes. If you play an individual sport, it's yourself, and when it's your team, it's your team. It's been a great battle. But to feel 'sorry' for them is maybe going a little too far."

De Bruyne, 27, will hope to end a frustrating season on a high today with victory over Watford at Wembley.

Five separate injuries saw the midfielder miss half of the league campaign, with City's Player of the Year last term glad to see the back of this campaign.

He added: "It's not been the most fun season, but I can't really complain as I've been playing football for 10 or 11 years and have not had many injuries.

"It's been one of those years where I started really badly with two big injuries.

"I came back in the right way, but my body couldn't cope with all the games. If you play once a week you will be fine, but I played five or six games in two-and-a-half weeks and my body just said 'no, it's not possible'. But it's good to be back with the team now for the prizes - the Brighton game to win the league and now the Cup Final."

De Bruyne showed his frustration in January, when he stormed straight down the tunnel after being subbed in a 9-0 League Cup win over Burton.

He wanted to play the full 90 minutes, but Guardiola decided to take him off just before the hour. De Bruyne admitted his show of petulance earned him a rebuke from his boss, but said he was just desperate to get back to full fitness. "Pep knows how I felt, but I shouldn't really have left," said De Bruyne.

"Sometimes emotions come up and at the time I thought it was a good game for me, it was already 5-0. At that moment I was like, 'I need the game-time, I can be important still'."

Asked if he got told off, De Bruyne gave a sheepish look and replied: "Yeah." Today could be Vincent Kompany's last game for City after 11 years, with the captain out of contract this summer and yet to agree a new deal.

De Bruyne said it will be impossible to replace his City and Belgium team-mate, but hinted that the 33-year-old had made his mind up to go after the Wembley showpiece.

"I don't think you can replace Vinnie," said De Bruyne. "I'm hoping that he stays for another year. It's impossible to replace him, but every team has an evolution. When Vinnie finally steps down then maybe others will step up.

"We've spoken about it a few times and he says the main thing is that he wants to play as much as possible. But it's not easy at our club with the players we have."

ROBBIE SAVAGE City will stay in United's shadow until they conquer Europe SEE PAGE 55 5/1 Manchester City to win 2-0


John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne share a joke during training this week chuckle brothers
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 18, 2019
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