Manchester City had to wait longer than any other side to get their 2020/21 Premier League campaign underway. But they did so with a terrific 3-1 win away to Wolves.
With it being their opening match of the season, Pep Guardiola may have feared a slow start from his side. Liverpool had already won both of their matches so, as strange as it sounds, there was already pressure on City to win.
But they were absolutely brilliant during the first 45 minutes. And PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Kevin de Bruyne, was at the centre of it all.
He ran the show from the very first minute and deservedly earned the Man of the Match award.
It was the Belgian who was brought down inside the penalty area by Romain Saiss after 20 minutes. De Bruyne picked himself up and put his side 1-0 up.
Twelve minutes later, it was 2-0 and De Bruyne was involved again.
He slid in Raheem Sterling, who pulled the ball back for Phil Foden to score.
It looked to be game over - especially with De Bruyne in this kind of form.
However, Wolves improved dramatically after half-time and got themselves back into the match with 12 minutes remaining. Once again, De Bruyne featured in the goal - although not in the way he would have liked.
Daniel Podence nutmegged De Bruyne on the right wing and produced a cross for Raul Jimenez to head home.
But De Bruyne had the last laugh and it epitomised his display. In the 95th-minute, he won the ball back in a dangerous area with the ball falling for Gabriel Jesus to finish off the match. It was an assist by default but the midfielder will no doubt be claiming it.
By the end of the match, De Bruyne had registered a goal, an assist, a pre-assist, the most ball recoveries, the most touches in the opponent’s box, the most chances created, the most tackles, the most shots and the most shots on target.
He was brilliant and if those numbers don’t impress you, how about his individual highlights?
Check them out:
After the match, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher claimed De Bruyne is the next best player after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
And after the match, De Bruyne was satisfied with his side's performance.
"I think we played really well, obviously second half there's going to be stages where it's a little bit difficult because offensively they're really strong, but I think we played secure, we didn't take too many risks," he said.
"And we knew with only two weeks of training it's going to be hard and we played secure. Props to the defensive midfielders because they kept it tight and I think we did really well."
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