Sport Writer Will Rogers reports on Manchester City’s drubbing of Wolves, keeping the Cityzens in control of top spot over Liverpool
A mesmeric four-goal performance from Kevin De Bruyne helped Manchester City to a comfortable 5-1 victory over Wolves at a hostile Molineux on Wednesday evening. The result put City just four points from their sixth Premier League title, with only a trip to London Stadium and a home match against Aston Villa to come.
Manchester took the lead early, with De Bruyne running onto a Bernardo Silva pass before slotting beyond Jose Sa, the Wolves keeper who has had an impressive first season in the Premier League, but endured a night to forget against the rampaging Citizens. However, in front of a fiery atmosphere, Wolves hit back, with another Belgian in Leander Dendoncker finishing a lovely team move. Unfortunately, this was as good as it got for the hosts as De Bruyne began to take over.
With just a quarter of an hour on the clock, Manchester City broke forward against an open looking defence. With Sa spilling the ball ahead of the onrushing Sterling, it was De Bruyne who was able to poke in his second of the night.
Just eight minutes later, De Bruyne completed his first hattrick and the third quickest in Premier League history. After the match he described this as his favourite of the night, driving in from the right before curling in beautifully into the far corner.
His celebration was reminiscent of Erling Haaland, with the announcement of the Norwegian’s signing sparking great interest amongst the travelling fans. De Bruyne’s goals all came with his so-called weak left foot, again showing the ability of this phenomenal Belgian. There were more chances for both sides before the break but both Wolves and Liverpool fans still held hope of a glorious fightback after the interval.
However any hopes were quashed on the hour mark, with De Bruyne making no mistake from a fine Phil Foden cross, making the score 4-1 shortly after Sterling had his own goal ruled out for offside. More chances came and went for City, with Foden hitting the post and Sterling missing an easy tap-in chance, yet no one in the ground believed that they would pay for these misses. Yet Sterling would get his goal, after Sa had denied the impressive Joao Cancelo.
The gulf in class between the two sides was not as clearcut as the scoreline would imply. Chiquinho impressed for the hosts in his first Premier League start, whilst many of the City players, other than De Bruyne, struggled to find any rhythm under the lights. It was not all positive for Guardiola though. Having already lost Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker for the rest of the season, Aymeric Laporte went off with a knee injury and Fernandinho also came off in some discomfort. We will see the extent of these injuries, but with the attacking threats that West Ham and Aston Villa offer, there may still be hope for Liverpool fans of an unlikely quadruple.
The last word should go to De Bruyne. He now has nineteen goals in all competitions, his best ever for the club, and Guardiola afterwards suggested that he has caught the bug of scoring goals and will continue to push forward and get on the scoresheet. As Manchester City put the past of Madrid behind them and look forward to the future with Haaland, they should not forget that they already have a midfield maestro within their ranks who shines as brightly as anyone in world football.
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