Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Dazzling De Bruyne hits four as Man City send message to Liverpool in title race after Wolves rout

Kevin de Bruyne celebrates hat-trick goal with Phil Foden Wolves v Man city

A Kevin de Bruyne masterclass moved Manchester City three points clear of Liverpool in the Premier League title race after a 5-1 rout of Wolves at Molineux.

The Belgian scored four times, including a hat-trick inside the opening 24 minutes, as City outclassed their opponents and boosted their goal difference to seven better than Jurgen Klopp’s men in a stunning display of attacking football.

City made the perfect start against Bruno Lage’s men as De Bruyne fired them ahead in the seventh minute.

The visitors started strongly and Jose Sa invited pressure with a poor clearance. Silva brought the ball under control and slid De Bruyne in on goal with a fine pass. The Belgian made no mistake with a low finish.

Wolves fans may have feared the worst after falling behind but their side responded superbly and levelled four minutes later.

City were caught out by a quick counter-attack as Pedro Neto raced onto a long pass from deep and squared for Leander Dendoncker to turn in.

Parity did not last long at Molineux as De Bruyne quickly restored City’s advantage.

The Belgian was picked out on the edge of the box by Oleksandr Zinchenko and turned to play in a ball for Sterling.

De Bruyne hits quickfire hat-trick

Sa came out to intercept but succeeded only in returning the ball to De Bruyne, who rifled into the net with aid of a deflection.

De Bruyne incredibly added his fourth goal on the hour. He tucked home on the rebound after a pass from Foden intended for Sterling was deflected into his path.

A rampant City were in the mood for more goals. Phil Foden hit the post before Sterling missed a sitter from a Foden cross at the far post.

But they did grab a fifth with eight minutes to go. Joao Cancelo’s effort was blocked but fell to a grateful Sterling a yard out to sweep home.

De Bruyne even had time to rattle the post with what would have been a stunning fifth.

City will now have the chance to go six clear when they face West Ham on Sunday. Liverpool are in action against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.