Kevin De Bruyne's hat-trick of assists in vain as Spurs stun Manchester City

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 01:20 18/04/2019
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Manchester City and Tottenham provided the footballing community with arguably the best game of the season, sharing a total of seven goals in an epic Champions League tie.

Trailing by one goal from the first leg, City needed to win this tie by two goals to ensure Spurs didn’t progress on away goals.

Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero were among the goal-scorers for City, with Kevin De Bruyne bagging a hat-trick of assists.

We take a deeper look at his performance.

KEY STATS

Minutes: 90

Goals: 0

Assists: 3

Shots (on target): 3 (2)

Passes (success rate): 38 (84.2%)

Successful dribbles: 3

Key-passes: 4

30-SECOND REPORT

When it looked like things were going City’s way, it was De Bruyne who was constantly creating the threat through his needle-threading passes.

The Belgian did almost everything well; he was winning duels, completing dribbles with ease and even tested Hugo Lloris with a couple of promising hits.

He had earlier revealed how he enjoys a great partnership with Sterling off the pitch. Their chemistry on it deserves a shout too. De Bruyne assisted Sterling twice and was linking up beautifully with the Englishman.

GOT RIGHT

De Bruyne’s eye for a pass is clearly one of his strongest suits and the best version of that was on display against Spurs. Picking the best of the Belgian’s three assists on the night is no easy task.

For his first, he set Sterling into space, allowing the Englishman to drift inwards and slot home. The fact that he did it with a lot of Spurs bodies around him made it all the more impressive.

To set up Sterling’s second and City’s third, De Bruyne delivered a perfect pass across the face of the goal, ahead of a bunch of Spurs and City players and right into the path of Sterling at the far post. The winger finished the move with a sublime touch past Lloris.

He finished the hat-trick of assists by setting up Aguero with a splendid run past three Spurs players.

The Belgian completed the night with four key passes, clearly outranking David Silva as the major source of creativity.

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne was imperious yet City crashed out.

VERDICT

Compared to the absolute beast he was last season, De Bruyne has had a pretty tame season. In his defence, the Belgian was out with injury for a good part and had his performances took a dip.

But against Spurs, he showed exactly what he is capable of. The midfielder was arguably the best player for City, perhaps even the best player on the pitch, showing that he’s capable of performing on the biggest stage.

City failed to make it to the semi-final of the Champions League yet again, but they still have the FA Cup final and the Premier League title to play for. Performances like these in the league can help City achieve the domestic treble.

An in-form De Bruyne will be extremely crucial for Pep Guardiola’s men in the concluding stages of the season.

Rating: 8/10

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