A week after Manchester City’s painful surrender in Madrid, the response has been absolutely fantastic. After Kevin De Bruyne scored his fourth goal and Manchester City’s goal, Pep Guardiola jumped into the arms of his assistant Rodolfo Borrell. By then Guardiola had already ditched his massive black coat, and the gloves were long gone in their quest to retain the Premier League title.
De Bruyne’s unique performance helped City reclaim a three-point lead over Liverpool at the top, with only two obstacles now between them and a fourth league title in five seasons. Raheem Sterling added the fifth goal six minutes before play, but it was De Bruyne who borrowed Erling Haaland’s contemplative celebration as he completed a hat-trick in the first half for 17 minutes, which cemented this stunning and calm defeat for 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 already have an extra point given their superior goal difference: Liverpool must come from behind by seven goals, in addition to City’s three. Buffer point, to win the title.
Even with injuries to Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte adding to Guardiola’s defensive headache, it’s hard to see City pull it off from here. They have scored 22 goals in five league matches since their FA Cup exit against Liverpool last month. Imagine how many goals they could score when Haaland was in the building.
At the end of the match, De Bruyne moved to the referee, Martin Atkinson, to collect the match ball. Given the mood he started here, flashing a fine ball across the penalty area that was too fast for Phil Foden to convert it in about a minute, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that he got his first City hat-trick in 24 minutes, which is The third fastest hat-trick since the start of the match Premier League Date.
His third was the selection of the group. It originated from a throw in from the city. Joao Cancelo positioned Sterling, who was challenged by Ryan Ait Nouri, and when the ball spilled free, De Bruyne gleefully took the baton, took a few purposeful steps and carefully pushed the ball into the firing position before firing a curling shot into the bottom corner. His left foot is supposed to be the weakest. Then came the celebration, surely a nod to the city’s new star. Welcome to Manchester.
De Bruyne fixed things at the end of City’s normally calculated attack. Bernardo Silva, who worked through the middle a false 9, slipped off De Bruyne and hit the low end into the far corner. Guardiola clenched his fists.
It was the perfect start but Wolverhampton responded after four minutes when Leander Dendoncker stopped a superb counter-attack. Raul Jimenez jumped forward from the halfway point before making a wide pass. The city’s temporary defense line did not shield itself in glory. The 37-year-old Fernandinho, who shared Laporte as the center back, couldn’t stop Jimenez from finding Pedro Neto and focused on Dendoncker to finish the match calmly.
Bruno Lagee would have been delighted to watch, as he watched, with his brother and assistant, Luis Nascimento, and goalkeeper coach Tony Roberts, a few miles away at Wolverhampton’s training base, as the trio continued to test positive for Covid‑19. Guardiola retreated into the dugout. run and slit some water. He didn’t need to worry.
City regained the lead when De Bruyne fired from close range after Wolverhampton goalkeeper Jose Sa handed him the ball onto a board after he failed to tackle his clever passes from Sterling. Wolves struggled to break City’s endless streak and De Bruyne completed a hat-trick effortlessly.
The thing about De Bruyne is that it makes everything seem so easy, just par for the course. 10 minutes before halftime, the game was as good as it gets, he went behind the ball, on a solo mission, ready to prey on Wolverhampton’s defense slip.
There was a strange horror – Zinchenko and Fernandinho were thankful to the referee at their side after squabbling in the penalty area in each half, while Laporte raced back to steal the ball as Jimenez thrust into Ederson – but this was an authentic City performance. All in white.
Inevitably, it was De Bruyne who would finish fourth for City. Foden’s cross forced a panicked banishment by Ait Nouri and De Bruyne was on hand. matches. For City, there is simply no stopping this race.
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