Manchester City opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings, following a comprehensive 5-1 victory away to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux on Wednesday night.
The Cityzens came into the encounter level on points with nearest challengers Liverpool but ahead on goal difference, after the Reds had defeated Aston Villa 2-1 twenty-four hours earlier and it was their inspirational Belgian midfielder Kevin de Bruyne that opened up the scoring as early as the seventh minute after an assist from Bernardo Silva.
But the hosts responded swiftly after charging forward on the break and Pedro Neto squared the ball invitingly for Leander Dendoncker to side-foot home but de Bruyne soon restored the visitors advantage – reacting first to Jose Sa’s stretched save to power a shot into the roof of the net via a deflection.
The Belgian made it three before half-time, collecting the ball on the right wing and cutting inside before unleashing a fizzing shot into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick in the space of 24 minutes as the Cityzens held a 3-1 lead at the break.
The second half saw the Belgian net his fourth of the night, after firing low into the bottom corner from close range before Joao Cancelo’s squared pass was bundled home by Raheem Sterling for the Cityzens fifth of the night.
A frustrating night for Bruno Lage’s men leaves their European football ambitions hanging by a thread with two games left to play. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s men took another step towards a fourth title in five seasons, stretching their lead over Liverpool with De Bruyne hitting his stride at the business end of the season.