De Bruyne hits four as Manchester City smash the Wolves to keep the cushion on top Premier League

A week after the painful capitulation of Manchester City in Madrid, the response was quite magnificent. After Kevin De Bruyne rolled his and Manchester City’s fourth goal, Pep Guardiola jumped into the arms of his assistant Rodolfo Borrell. By then, Guardiola had already discarded the mammoth black buffer coat, and the gloves had long since been taken off in a bid to keep the crown in the Premier League.

De Bruyne’s unparalleled performance has helped give City a three-point lead over Liverpool at the top, and now there are only two hurdles between them and their fourth league title in five seasons. Raheem Sterling added a fifth goal in six minutes of play, but it was De Bruyne who lent a meditative celebration to Erling Haaland who completed a 17-minute hat-trick in the first half that sparked this spectacular and unmistakable defeat for the Wolves.

Technically, City need four points from away games at West Ham and at home against Aston Villa to get the job done, but they actually have an extra point given their superior goal difference: Liverpool have to turn seven goals behind, as does City’s three -tod buffer, to win the title.

Even with Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte picking up injuries and adding Guardiola’s defensive headaches, it’s hard to see City throwing it out of here. They have scored 22 goals in their five league games since leaving the FA Cup against Liverpool last month. Imagine how much they could achieve when Haaland is in the building.

At the end of the match De Bruyne approached referee Martin Atkinson to take the match ball. Given the mood he started here, throwing a brilliant ball over the top five that was a split second too fast for Phil Foden to turn in just one minute on the clock, it might come as no surprise that he scored his first City hat-trick within 24 minutes, third the fastest since the start of the match Premier League history.

His third was choice. That came from City’s insertion. Joao Cancelo found Sterling, challenged by Rayan Ait-Nouri, and when the ball spilled freely, De Bruyne happily took the baton, taking a few deliberate steps and carefully pushing the ball into the kicking position before rattling a twisting shot into the bottom corner with what should be his weaker left foot. Then came a celebration, certainly a tribute to the new City superstar. Welcome to Manchester.

De Bruyne set things in motion at the end of a typically calculated City attack. Bernardo Silva, who acted through the middle as a fake 9, dragged De Bruyne and he hit a low finish into the far corner. Guardiola clenched both hands.

Pep Guardiola jumps into the arms of his assistant, Rodolfo Borrell, after Kevin De Bruyne’s fourth goal. Photo: Peter Powell / Reuters

It was a perfect start, but the Wolves responded four minutes later when Leander Dendoncker performed a fine counterattack. Raul Jimenez moved forward from the half before expanding the ball. City’s impromptu back line didn’t cover with fame. The 37-year-old Fernandinho, who was a partner of Laporte in the position of central defender, could not stop Jimenez from finding Pedro Net and he centered for Dendoncker to finish cold.

It would be a pleasant sight to watch for Bruno Lage, who, along with his brother and assistant, Luis Nascimento, and Tony Roberts, the goalkeeping coach, watched a few miles away at Wolves base as the trio continued to test positive for Covid ‑ 19. Guardiola retreated to a distant dugout and refilled some water. He shouldn’t have been upset.

City took the lead again when De Bruyne’s spinning hit from close range, after Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa gave him the ball on a plate after failing to handle his clever pass for Sterling. The Wolves struggled to break City’s endless chain, and De Bruyne finished his hat-trick without sweating.

What De Bruyne has is that it all seems so easy, just as a rule. Another 10 minutes until the end of the first half, the game was over, he went hunting for the ball, on an independent mission, ready to loot in case the Wolves slipped in defense.

There was a strange fear – Zinchenko and Fernandinho were grateful the referee stood by them after a five-pointer in each half, while Laporte ran back to steal the ball as Jimenez rushed towards Ederson – but this was a pure performance by City. , all in white.

Inevitably, De Bruyne was the one to score fourth for City. Foden’s interception made Ait-Nouri panic and De Bruyne was on hand to intercede. Ederson defended Jimenez a few moments after Foden hit the post, but Sterling hit in the fifth and sentenced the Wolves to a fourth five-match defeat. For City, there are simply no concessions in this race.

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