Wolves v Man City: Pictures
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Kevin de Bruyne bagged a quadruple of his own as Manchester City cantered to a 5-1 win over Wolves to stay ahead of Liverpool in the title race. City’s midfield talisman netted four times to ensure his side remain three points ahead of their title rivals with just two league games remaining.
De Bruyne finished off a silky team move emphatically to nudge City into a 7th minute, but Leander Dendoncker restored parity for the hosts just four minutes later following a rapid counter-attack.
De Bruyne bagged his second strike of the night to restore City’s advantage in the 16th minute before he completed his hat-trick with a thumping finish shortly after. De Bruyne was in the right place at the right time to sweep home his fourth goal of the night in the second half before Raheem Sterling tapped home a fifth goal late on to cap another sensational evening for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Express Sport takes a look at five things we learned at Molineux as City produced another clinical display to leave Liverpool’s quadruple dreams in tatters…
De Bruyne delivers when it matters
De Bruyne pulled the strings for Guardiola’s side in the 5-0 win over Newcastle at the weekend, and City’s orchestrator-in-chief was at it again at Molineux. If there were any nerves in the City team after Liverpool kept the pressure on them at the top of table, then De Bruyne provided the perfect tonic with his seventh minute strike.
As good as De Bruyne has been for City throughout the season, the midfield maestro has taken things to another level to drive the champions on during the final leg of the title race. After his stunning four-goal haul against Wolves – three of which were netted with his weaker left foot – the brilliant Belgian has now plundered six goals & four assists in City’s last six league games as they edge closer to another domestic crown.
The rampant champions have now bagged 10 goals in two games as they look to see the season out in style – and with De Bruyne n such omnipotent form, it’s hard to see City giving up their three-point lead in the title race between now and the end of May.
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Defensive crisis looming
As unstoppable as Manchester City look right now, the champions arrived in the Midlands with a makeshift defence. With the likes of John Stones, Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker all ruled out for the rest of the season, Fernandinho was deployed as an emergency centre-half alongside Aymeric Laporte.
But after Laporte took a heavy blow to the knee in the second half, City could end up facing West Ham with Fernandino and a half-fit Nathan Ake. City’s makeshift defence already looked vulnerable on transitions, but things could be even bleaker if Laporte is going to be sidelined.
Fernandino is set to depart the Etihad after nine years of service in the summer – and it could be a long goodbye for the the 37-year-old if he has to the season out in defence.
Haaland will clean up at City
Manchester City confirmed that a deal ‘in principle’ worth £51million has been struck for Erling Haaland – and the Borussia Dortmund hotshot will clean up in the Premier League playing in this City team.
Guardiola’s side could have had more goals in the Midlands but in the end, settled for x. It’s hard to think of any team who have spurned more golden chances than Manchester City over the course of the season; that shouldn’t be an issue that follows them into next season.
After thriving for so long without an orthodox striker, it could take time for the marriage between City and Haaland to mesh. But once any initial teething problems are resolved, Haaland will bag a hatful of goals playing with the likes of De Bruyne and Phil Foden.
Chiquinho gives City a fright
It’s been a good campaign for Wolves, who have rebounded from a disappointing season last year under Bruno Lage. The Portuguese coach was absent due to Covid, but Chiquinho will have caught his eye regardless.
The 22-year-old speedster was snapped up in a £3m deal back in January and he’s starting to look like the real deal. He bagged two assists at the weekend for the hosts and was their best outlet against the champions.
After giving Oleksander Zinchenko a torrid night, the Portuguese youth international appears to be a ready made replacement for the hit-and-miss Adama Traore, who could depart the club for good in the summer.
Liverpool need a miracle
The title race between City and Liverpool looks destined to go to the final day of the season, but it’s looking more and more likely that the Reds will need a miracle to regain the Premier League crown.
There were concerns that the mental scars from City’s Champions League capitulation against Real Madrid could hamper their title hopes – but City have brushed off their European exit and steamrolled their way through two tough tests against Newcastle and Wolves.
Liverpool have matched Guardiola’s side stride for stride this season, but they were always going to relying on favours from others after they failed to beat City in their seismic showdown last month. It’s starting to feel like they need a miracle rather than a favour to pip City to the title in the coming weeks, with Guardiola’s side now needing just four points from their final two games to wrap things up.
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