Manchester City strode into a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Sunday.
The door was left ajar for the champions of England after Liverpool dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, and boy did they grab their opportunity to move clear with both hands.
That’s because the Citizens made mincemeat of Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium, running away 5-0 victors to avenge their Champions League exit earlier in the week.
City shine vs Newcastle
In many ways, it was a classic case of ‘City tearing a mid-table Premier League team to shreds’ that we’ve become used to seeing ever since Sheikh Mansour walked into the boardroom.
However, those customary thrashings at the Etihad have become even more spectacular under Pep Guardiola with Newcastle on the receiving end of some truly mesmerising football.
The Toon had to survive off scraps with just 29% possession as Raheem Sterling’s brace, along with strikes from Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and Phil Foden, sent them back up north with nothing to show for their efforts.
In fact, such was the density of quality throughout City’s performance that even players who didn’t make the scoresheet were having the time of their lives during the Newcastle win.
You might think, for example, that Kevin De Bruyne had a pretty quiet day at the office with zero goals and one assist, but rest assured that he was delivering just as much quality as you’d ordinarily expect.
De Bruyne’s mesmerising pass
Besides, when you’re arguably the best player in the Premier League, it’s only natural that some of the more “straightforward” things you pull off during a game will just happen to be, well, incredible.
And that’s most certainly the case with De Bruyne, who make the process of delivering passes that almost every player couldn’t even dream of executing look embarrassingly easy.
So, should we really be surprised that ‘KDB’ produced yet another superhuman pass during the Newcastle win and acted like it was nothing? That’ll be a ‘no’.
As such, be sure to join the thousands of supporters who are drooling at Exhibit #12,301,456 of De Bruyne being the world’s best passer by checking out the moment that he carved Newcastle open:
Get out of here, Kevin, get out of here. You’re too good.
The brilliance of De Bruyne
If you were just to look at the frankly physics-defying trajectory of the ball as it practically curves around the Newcastle defence like it had been drawn by hand, you’d think that De Bruyne must have strained to make it happen.
But no, the David Beckham-like cross seemed to almost pop out of his feet as he whipped it into the box without so much as breaking his tride or even pausing for significant back-lift.
Gabriel Jesus might not have been able to memorialise it as one of the greatest Premier League assists of recent years, but it will nevertheless be remembered fondly by those who saw it happen.
Though, knowing De Bruyne, we wouldn’t be surprised if he whipped out three more passes of that pedigree during the Newcastle win. The man’s a joke.