Wolves vs Man City: Player ratings and analysis as De Bruyne’s dazzling quadruple turns screw on Liverpool

City reclaims their three-point lead when the Belgian midfielder demonstrates his class with the third-fastest hat-trick in Premier League history before he and Sterling score a fourth and fifth, respectively.

Manchester City 1-5 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Dendoncker 11′ | De Bruyne 7′, 16′, 24′, 60′, Sterling 84′)

MOLINEUX, FRANCE — Kevin De Bruyne scored a hat-trick in 17 minutes as part of a four-goal masterclass, and he paid homage to his new teammate Erling Haaland.

Manchester City’s Belgian striker celebrated his first hat-trick by imitating the Norwegian striker’s goal celebration. The club announced his £51.1 million purchase, a nice nod.

It was a crucial contribution for Pep Guardiola’s squad, battling defensive injuries and responding to Liverpool’s equal points at the top of the table earlier.

And, as De Bruyne scored 19 goals this season, it may have left City fans wondering, “Erling who?”

But City was forced to fight back after conceding an equalizer to Wolves in the 11th minute, which canceled De Bruyne’s goal.

The goal resulted from a City attack in which Raul Jimenez broke upfield, and Pedro Neto’s cross found Leander Dendoncker for a cool finish.

With City fielding 37-year-old midfielder Fernandinho as a makeshift center-back, the leaders appeared to be under pressure. However, De Bruyne’s superb composure and Wolves’ sloppy marking allowed Guardiola to inch closer to the title.

De Bruyne began the move that resulted in the seventh-minute opening goal by playing a deft one-two with Bernardo Silva and raced past Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa.

And five minutes after losing, City regained the lead when De Bruyne played a through the pass, Sterling appeared to escape Sa’s charge, but the goalkeeper could only divert the ball into the Belgian’s path.

De Bruyne’s hat-trick goal while Sterling and Rayan Ait-Nouri battled for possession was impressive.

De Bruyne picked up the lost ball and saw space opening in front of him, advanced to the edge of the penalty area, and finished with a magnificent strike from 20 yards.

Aymeric Laporte twisted his knee in a challenge with Jimenez just before the hour mark, necessitating the substitution of Nathan Ake, who was suffering from an ankle injury himself.

A serious injury to Laporte may leave Guardiola without a recognized central defender for their final two games, against West Ham and Aston Villa.

After Sterling had a goal called out for offside, de Bruyne scored his fourth on the hour mark, setting up a play culminating in achieving a Phil Foden cross.

De Bruyne was cautioned for a careless trip on Ait-Nourri in the 77th minute, and Raheem Sterling converted Joao Cancelo’s deflected shot in the 76th minute of stoppage time.

Player ratings

Wolves

  • Sa 5
  • Jonny 5
  • Coady 5
  • Boly 5
  • Chiquinho 7
  • Dendoncker 7
  • Neves 6
  • Moutinho 6
  • Ait-Nouri 5
  • Neto 7
  • Jimenez 7

Subs

  • Trincao 5
  • Cundle n/a
  • Hwang 5

Man City

  • Ederson 6
  • Cancelo 7
  • Fernandinho 6
  • Laporte 7
  • Zinchenko 7
  • Rodri 7
  • Gundogan 7
  • Silva 8
  • De Bruyne 10
  • Sterling 7
  • Foden 8

Subs

  • Ake 7
  • Mahrez 5
  • Grealish n/a

 

 

 

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