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Another footballing clinic from Kevin De Bruyne took Manchester City a step closer to securing the Premier League title.
The Belgian midfielder ran the show from the centre of the park, helping his side see off West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night. His performance even prompted opposition manager Alan Pardew to sing his praises after the game.
“De Bruyne is the key because his passing and offensive play from deep, from the midfield and from the final third is of such high quality,” he said.
“You don’t quite know what to do with him. Him being as good as he was tonight makes it very difficult.”
The midfield maestro set the ball rolling with a perfectly weighted pass from just inside the opposition half which sliced through their defensive lines. Fernandinho had no choice but to latch on to it as it arrived perfectly at his feet and the Brazilian slid his shot through the legs of Ben Foster.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was pleased with his side’s display but believes they will have to be more clinical as they approach the business end of the season, particularly in the cups.
“I’m so happy because today, I feel, is one of the best performances this season,” said the Catalan.
“To play better than we did today is quite difficult, but in knockout games or finals we need to be more clinical in front of goal or we will be in trouble.”
The one below par moment in De Bruyne’s performance was a missed chance by Sergio Aguero when put through on goal, but he made up for this with a goal later in the game and almost scored an audacious effort from the half-way line.
“At times in the game tonight I wanted to give my players a cuddle because I felt sorry for them,” added Pardew despairingly.
“As an ex-player that was tough. You can’t say one of our players didn’t run his heart out.”
Aguero added a third late in the game with a dink over Foster and Guardiola is now looking ahead to tomorrow’s trip to Burnley.
“In two-and-a-half days we have one of the toughest away games against Burnley,” he said.
“We still have to win eight games to be champions of the Premier League and we are going to try to win the next one.”
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