Napoli lead Serie A after winning their first eight games and De Laurentiis suggested that Saturday's home league match against second-placed Inter Milan was just as important.
Their lone draw in England came against tonight's opponents, City, holding them to a 1-1 draw in Manchester during the 2011-12 Champions League group stage. It's a throwback to the team of the mid-Seventies that I played in. In football you are going to have highs and lows and you have to live in the middle. They play a different kind of football.
Like Guardiola, Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola also cautioned City's players against complacency, saying that the Italian outfit have been as impressive in the Serie A as City have been in the Premier League.
De Bruyne, who proved the match victor against Chelsea before the worldwide break, was again the man at the centre of proceedings as he laid on two assists and played a crucial part in nearly every goal.
In an interview with Italian daily newspaper Il Mattino, Zola said: "Both clubs have their own identity, they are very similar". It will be an unbelievable game.
By the half-hour mark, though, Napoli had worked out how to beat City's press and finally started to pose the English team some problems.
In just over two seasons, he has swept away the inconsistency which marked predecessor Rafael Benitez's spell at the club and brought out the best in players such as midfielders Marek Hamsik and Jorginho, who had struggled for form under the Spaniard. They deserve to be leaders because they have made some big sacrifices and they are so entertaining to watch.
Pep Guardiola's City always indicated that they wanted a cash-only deal for Sanchez, who ended up staying in north London after a £60 million ($80 million, 68 million euros) attempt to sign him fell through.
He added: "I don't want Guardiola's compliments distracting our players. You see stuff pop up and check it out because you don't know any better", Sterling said of the 2015-16 season, his first at City after moving from Liverpool.
Despite the freaky scenario, the talented midfielder has played remarkably well in the match.