Kevin de Bruyne’s stunning four-goal goal helped Manchester City beat the Wolves and regained their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s side now need just four points from their last two meetings to ensure they finish above Liverpool and win their fourth title in five seasons.
De Bruyne played a central role in all those previous triumphs, but this was an individual show that must rank among the best of his stellar collection in the City T-shirt.
The Belgian started a move that led to the opening of his side, and finished it, running on a pass from Bernardo Silva to score at home.
It didn’t take the Wolves long to respond, with a quick counterattack that ended when Pedro Neto found Leander Dendoncker in space on the edge of a five-pointer to shoot next to Ederson.
However, this was De Bruyne’s stage and he quickly got his side back ahead. He also played a role in the upgrade again, and was in the right place to break in the jump after Jose Sa beat Raheem Sterling on his pass.
His third goal – again with a so-called weaker left foot – was the pick of the group, and he saw it drive towards the edge of the field and twist into the bottom corner.
De Bruyne’s hat-trick was his first for City, and with 24 minutes he was the third fastest in Premier League history.
He celebrated in style by copying the meditation celebration of his future teammate Erling Haaland, whom City signed this week, but it was not over yet.
City came out in the second half looking for more goals to improve their goal difference, which was already three better than Liverpool before the start.
Raheem Sterling thought he extended their lead when he ran clean and beat Sa, but the offside flag interrupted his celebration.
De Bruyne was left to score 4-1, usually without a mistake when a cross by Phil Foden swerved into his path and found the bottom corner with his first right-footed attempt tonight.
More chances followed, Foden hit the post and Sterling missed an easy opportunity, but in the end someone else got into the action and Sterling hit an empty net after Sa rejected Joa Cancel.
However, this was still De Bruyne’s show. City have not yet crossed the border, and their next test is an awkward trip to West Ham on Sunday, but based on this evidence they will stop a bit.
More to come.
How to play
Rate players out of 10 during or after a match. The assessor will close 30 minutes after the last whistle.
Rating range key = Cancel = Pure perfection
- 1Malheiro de Sá
- 19Castro Otto
- 20Tomás Oliveira
- 28João MoutinhoReplaced byHugon 85 ‘minutes
- 7NetReplaced byMachado Trincãoon 72 ‘minutes
- 9JimenezReplaced byHwang Hee-Chanon 72 ‘minutes
- 11Machado Trincão
- 17Fábio Silva
- 26Hwang Hee-Chan
- 27give it up
- 25FernandinhoReplaced byMahrezon 77 ‘minutes
- 14LaporteReplaced byAkeon 61 ‘minutes
- 17De BruyneBooked for 78 minutes
- 47FodenReplaced byGrealishon 81 ‘minutes
- 20Bernardo Silva
- 9Gabriel Jesus
End of the game, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Manchester City 5.
Second Half Ended, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Manchester City 5.
Missed attempt. João Cancelo (Manchester City) shot with his right foot from a difficult angle from the right side, but missed to the right. With the help of Jack Grealish.
Missed attempt. Hwang Hee-Chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers) shoots with his right foot on the right hand side of the penalty area. Assisted by Rúben Neves.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) gets in a strike but the shot is blocked by a defender. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.
Offense by Jack Grealish (Manchester City).
Chiquinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defense.
Offense by Jack Grealish (Manchester City).
José Sá (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defense.
Missed attempt. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) shoots with a right foot from the middle of the penalty area but misses the right. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with the ball inserted.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Luke Cundle replaces João Moutinho.
Goal! Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Manchester City 5. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) scored with his right foot from very close to the center of the goal.
Attempt blocked. João Cancelo (Manchester City) has a shot blocked. He assisted Jack Grealish with the ball.
Substitution, Manchester City. Jack Grealish replaces Phil Foden.
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) takes the free-kick in defense.
Chiquinha offense (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) has been booked and must now be careful not to get a second yellow card.
Violation of Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).
Rayan Aït-Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers) takes the free-kick.
Substitution, Manchester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Fernandinha.
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