24 hours after Liverpool snatched a 2-1 victory away at Aston Villa, Manchester City managed to keep up their charge for this season’s Premier League crown with a stunning display in the Midlands.
Breezing past European dreamers Wolves on Wednesday night as they eventually left Molineux with a 5-1 romp to show for their troubles, the Sky Blues now just have two more top-flight fixtures to scratch off.
With attacking talisman Kevin De Bruyne bagging four individual strikes, including a first-half hat-trick, the mood in Pep Guardiola’s camp certainly doesn’t seem to have dampened after their Champions League exit last week.
Putting on a rampant performance away from the Etihad and once again giving their goal difference a significant boost, we have taken a look at the main talking points as Man City ran rampant at Molineux.
Another step closer for City
Undoubtedly watching on from home as Liverpool managed to grab a turnaround 2-1 victory at Villa Park on Tuesday night, there is no doubt that Guardiola was calling on his side to not lose their focus here.
Knowing that victory in the Midlands would once again widen their buffer at the top of the Premier League table to three points, the one-time Bayern Munich boss was rightfully filled with praise for his side’s stellar display at Molineux.
Heading into the half-time break with a commanding 3-1 lead and not really asked many questions after returning from the interval, the English heavyweights have really found a clinical edge in the final third.
Despite eventually crashing out of the Champions League thanks to that remarkable 6-5 aggregate defeat against Real Madrid earlier in the month, Guardiola’s side have now won each of their previous five Premier League contests.
Sat within touching distance of claiming their third top-flight crown from their last five campaigns, City have also won those five consecutive Premier League appearances by an aggregate score of 22-2.
Appearing to have found a real domestic purple patch at a critical time, Wednesday’s guests will be desperate to keep up that momentum when they make the trip to Europa League semi-finalists West Ham for their penultimate showdown.
De Bruyne’s Haaland-esc display
With it confirmed earlier in the week that Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland is on his way to the Etihad this summer, the striking sensation will be relishing the chance to play alongside a certain Kevin De Bruyne next season.
While the Belgium playmaker might have built his fearsome reputation around his assists tally, the one-time Chelsea starlet certainly stole the show with what was a remarkable display on Wednesday night.
Racking up his first Manchester City hat-trick with just 24 minutes on the clock after a sublime driven effort from outside the box, De Bruyne done an incredible job of playing as Guardiola’s false number nine.
With many still tipping the 30-year-old as an outside shout in this year’s Ballon d’Or chase, his display at Molineux only underlined just why he is regarded to be among the world elite.
Although 88-cap international might have failed to find top gear away at Los Blancos in their second-leg collapse last week, De Bruyne is the key man spearheading City’s charge for a sixth Premier League title.
Imitating Haaland’s trademark celebration as he racked up his first-half hat-trick, his fourth strike 15 minutes after the interval was the first-time that City’s talisman has bagged a quartet of strikes in a single game during his illustrious career.
Wolves’ European dreams are all but over
While Wolves might have eventually managed to pick up a last-gasp point away at former-European champions Chelsea last weekend, Bruno Lage’s side would have been more than aware that they faced a huge task here.
Although Wednesday’s hosts might have shown some early resolve as Leander Dendoncker dragged them level just four minutes after De Bruyne’s opener, the one-time Benfica boss will know that his side’s European ambitions are all but over.
Despite opening 2022 really mixing it in the Champions League chase, Wolves have largely failed to build off of that momentum over recent months.
Eventually getting hit with a thumping 5-1 defeat against the Premier League leaders on home soil, the Midlands-based outfit have collected just a single point from their last five top-flight contests.
With their recent issues highlighted by a 3-0 loss at the hands of Brighton on April 30th, Lage’s side also face another stern test before they draw a line under the 2021/22 campaign.
Now sat five points adrift of breaking into the Europa Conference League spot with two games remaining, Wolves will welcome Norwich to Molineux on Sunday before a showdown against Liverpool at Anfield on the final weekend.
Wolves: Sa, Jonny, Coady, Boly, Chiquinho, Dendoncker Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri, Neto, Jimenez
Subs: Cundle, Trincao, Hwang Hee-Chan
Manchester City: Ederson, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Laporte, Zinchenko Rodri, Gundogan, Sterling, De Bruyne, Foden, Silva
Subs: Mahrez, Ake, Grealish
Goals: Wolves: Dendoncker (11′) – Manchester City: De Bruyne (7′, 16′, 24′, 60′), Sterling (84′)
Yellow Cards: De Bruyne
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Martin Atkinson
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