Kevin De Bruyne scored four goals in a match for the first time in his career as Manchester City moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League table as they thrashed Wolves 5-1 at Molineux.
The game got off to a quick start as Manchester City took the lead after just six minutes. Kevin de Bruyne latched onto a fantastic through ball by Bernardo Silva before finishing low into the far corner.
However, Wolves demonstrated just how dangerous they were on the counter attack as they hit back five minutes later. Pedro Neto’s low cross from the left was placed in well by Leander Dendoncker from just inside the box to level it.
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Despite Carlos Cacheda’s side coming back into it, Manchester City were back in front again in the 16th minute, as De Bruyne made the most of an error from Wolves’ goalkeeper Jose Sa to grab his second of the game.
The Belgian then had a 17-minute hat-trick, as he slotted in a low strike from the edge of the box into the bottom corner with just over twenty minutes on the clock.
He then had his fourth of the night midway through the second half, as the attacking midfielder scored an easy tap-in.
The rout was completed with five minutes to play, as Raheem Sterling rounded off a superb away display with another easy back post tap-in.
TALKING POINT - City need just four points from their final two games to seal title
This was an extraordinary performance by Manchester City, on a night where the pressure was on them to respond after Liverpool's win over Aston Villa on Tuesday. They did it with flying colours, in what was a five-star display that leaves them very close to securing their fourth Premier League title in five seasons.
After their disappointing Champions League exit to Real Madrid, Manchester City have responded by scoring five goals in back-to-back Premier League games, and now need just four points from their remaining two games against West Ham and Aston Villa to seal yet another league title.
The only concern tonight for Pep Guardiola and City was that Aymeric Laporte had to come off with a knock to his knee, at a time where they are really struggling with injuries in defence.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne a signé un quadruplé avec Manchester City contre Leeds
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There is no contest who the star of the show was tonight, and in the minds of everyone who was watching, this was decided after just 23 minutes of the game - as the Belgian to sealed a stunning 17-minute hat-trick for Manchester City. He then added a fourth for good measure midway through the second half.
The 30-year-old proved unplayable, and consistently took advantage of Wolves’ inept defensive shape by making runs in behind to fashion chances for himself and others. His third goal was the pick of the bunch, finishing a low long-range strike brilliantly into the bottom-left corner, leaving Jose Sa with no chance.
In total, four of De Bruyne's six shots in the game were on target, with another hitting the woodwork, making it unlucky that he didn't score a record fifth of the night.
He also made two key passes and had a passing accuracy of 84%. His efficiency in front of goal tonight was spectacular and it was one of the best individual performances of the season so far.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sa 5, Dendoncker 7, Boly 5, Coady 6, Chiquinho 7, Jonny 6, Ait-Nouri 6, Neves 6, Moutinho 6, Neto 7, Jimenez 6. Subs: Trincao 6, Hwang 6, Cundle 6.
Manchester City: Ederson 6, Cancelo 7, Fernandinho 6, Laporte 6, Zinchenko 7, Gundogan 7, Rodri 7, De Bruyne 10, Sterling 8, Foden 7, Silva 8. Subs: Grealish 6, Ake 6, Mahrez 6.
6’ - GOAL! (Kevin De Bryune) - Manchester City take an early lead! It comes from a Sa goal kick, which Zinchenko intercepts into the path of De Bruyne. He flicks it over for Silva, and the Portuguese international then plays a sublime through ball back to the Belgian, who makes a great run ahead of him into the box. De Bruyne then finishes it low into the bottom right corner from inside the box!
11’ - GOAL! (Leander Dendoncker) - What a response by Wolves! A clinical counter attack by the home side! Sterling loses the ball on the edge of the box, and it finds its way to Jimenez near the centre circle. The Wolves striker then drives forward with the ball before laying it off for Neto to his left, who is in acres of space. Dendoncker then makes a late run into the box, and Neto's cut-back is finished well by the Belgian to put his side back on level terms! Game on!
16’ - GOAL! (Kevin De Bryune) - What a crazy first fifteen minutes here! De Bruyne has his brace! He initially plays a clipped through ball to Sterling, who is one-on-one with Jose Sa, but the Wolves 'keeper comes off his line to make the initial save. However, De Bruyne is there to turn home the rebound from inside the area!
23’ - GOAL! (Kevin De Bruyne) - What a game this man has had - he seals a 23-minute hat-trick! The Belgian advances with the ball just outside the box, before letting fly and smashing a shot low into the bottom corner to put his side 3-1 up!
60’ - GOAL! (Kevin De Bruyne) - Sensational! De Bruyne initially plays a through pass out to the left for Foden to chase. The Englishman then cuts the ball back for Sterling to hit from inside the area, but Ait-Nouri gets there first. Unfortunately for him, De Bruyne is lurking behind him and sends a tap-in beyond Sa on the rebound!
85' - GOAL! (Raheem Sterling) - Wolves' nightmare continues as Sterling scores a tap-in at the back post to get their fifth of the night. Grealish advances down the right, and plays in Cancelo, who cuts it back for Sterling at the back post, and he has an easy tap-in.
- Kevin De Bruyne's hat-trick within 24 minutes is the third earliest scored from the start of a match in Premier League history, after Sadio Mane v Aston Villa in May 2015 (16 mins) and Dwight Yorke v Arsenal in February 2001 (22 mins).
- Kevin de Bruyne has scored more goals than any other player in Premier League history where none of his tally have been headers (57).
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