Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne produced a scintillating performance to score four in his side’s emphatic 5-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.
The victory takes City three points ahead of title rival Liverpool with just two games remaining and, importantly, Pep Guardiola’s side now boasts a far superior goal difference with seven more scored.
If City is to retain the English Premier League title, which many now expect it to do, then it will certainly have De Bruyne to thank in large part.
The Belgian, who missed parts of the season to injury, has been magnificent in the run-in and was a class apart against Wolves.
He had all but put the game to bed after completing his hat-trick just 24 minutes in the match but added another in the second half before Raheem Sterling completed the rout.
De Bruyne’s first three goals were all with his so-called weaker left foot but the third was the pick of the bunch.
As he so often does, the 30-year-old drove effortlessly toward the goal from midfield before unleashing a bullet shot into the bottom corner of the net – he celebrated by tapping his left leg in acknowledgment.
“The third goal was my favorite. I think that strike is the cleanest. I hit it really hard in the corner. Out of the three, that was the purest,” he told reporters after the game.
“When you score four goals, it’s always something special. It should have been five to be honest!”
De Bruyne now has 15 league goals on the season and his manager Guardiola was full of praise for the playmaker who had his name sung all night by the traveling City supporters.
“Unstoppable, brilliant, awesome, outstanding, perfect,” Guardiola said after the game, describing De Bruyne’s performance.
The win has put Manchester City in firm control of the title race, dashing Liverpool’s hopes of an unprecedented quadruple this season.
Realistically, City needs to beat either West Ham or Aston Villa in its remaining games and avoid a dramatic swing in goal difference to win a fourth league title in five years.
It will go some way to healing the wounds of yet another Champions League exit after it was dramatically beaten by Real Madrid in the semifinals of this year’s competition.