Kevin de Bruyne may not have scored any of Manchester City’s seven goals against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon, but the Belgium international was unquestionably the game’s star performer.
De Bruyne, who provided assists for Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane, terrorised Mark Hughes’ side during the 66 minutes he was on the pitch.
That Pep Guardiola subbed off the 26-year-old, in order to keep him fresh for Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Napoli, must have come as a major relief to Stoke’s exhausted defenders.
After the match, Hughes even described Man City’s No. 17 as the best player in England’s top division. High praise, indeed.
The Potters boss was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “They have De Bruyne who is head and shoulders above any player in the Premier League in my view in because of the way he can dictate and affect the game.”
De Bruyne handed 10/10 rating
The Manchester Evening News, meanwhile, handed De Bruyne a perfect 10/10 rating after a masterclass on his 100th appearance for the club.
“We need the English language to find some new superlatives, because De Bruyne was on another planet,” MEN reporter Stuart Brennan purred. “The fact that the fans are chanting HIS name for gorgeous assists rather than the goalscorer, tells you all you need to know. The pass for the second goal was delicious.”
Video: De Bruyne's individual highlights v Stoke
If you haven’t seen De Bruyne’s performance yet, then you’re in for a treat.
A video of De Bruyne’s individual highlights from City’s 7-2 win over Stoke has emerged and it’s outstanding.
Check it out…
A truly masterful performance from a player who is unquestionably one of European football’s finest playmakers.
Pep Guardiola hails De Bruyne
“He’s such a dynamic player, always picks the right pass at the right tempo,” Pep Guardiola, per the Telegraph, said of De Bruyne after the match. “When he has the ball, the wingers, the strikers, they know to move because the ball is coming their way. He’s a big, talented player.”
De Bruyne: Can't wait for my next 100 games!
After the match, De Bruyne tweeted: “Can't wait for my next 💯 games! What a team performance... 💙“
Man City fans know they’re extremely fortunate to have him.