Kevin De Bruyne

Man City hammers Watford by near-record margin

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Manchester City harvested a near-record amount of goals in destroying Watford to the tune of an 8-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bernardo Silva had a hat trick, while David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Nicolas Otamendi, Sergio Aguero, and Riyard Mahrez also scored in a match which saw City score inside of 54 seconds and five times in the first 18 minutes.

City hit the post several times and just missed a goal in stoppage time which would’ve matched Manchester United’s single game PL record.


Three things we learned

1. De Bruyne unfair: Sensational on the day in pulling the strings, he pulled a ripcord to unveil a vicious strike on City’s 85th minute goal. The way he made it look so easy to unleash so much power was an emblematic moment for the 8-star display.

2. Too much, too fast for Watford: Watch all five first half goals here. Quique Sanchez Flores opened up with Gerard Deulofeu alone up top and nearly got a goal, but his offense-first five-man midfield was a cool idea that fizzled oh-so-quickly. The Hornets have already accepted their fate as a bottom half team by changing managers after four weeks, but they may have to also view themselves as a relegation possibility despite so many good players.

3. Bernardo Silva arrives: There were fits and starts for Pep Guardiola‘s Portuguese playmaker to start the season, and a goal against Brighton was met by an assist in the loss to Norwich City. On Saturday, he unleashed his power to the tune of a hat trick.

Man of the Match: We want to refuse to pick just one, as WhoScored rated Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, and Mahrez as perfect 10s on the day. Okay, we’ll take KDB.


What a start.

It took 54 seconds for De Bruyne to assist David Silva with an outstanding opener, but Gerard Deulofeu nearly answered when he danced around Nicolas Otamendi to force a conceded corner out of Ederson.

Silva, marked for Inter Miami in a mid-week report, was the finisher for the 55th time in his Premier League career and 72nd for his club.

Ben Foster then gave away a useless penalty when he slapped a through ball out of bounds before felling Riyad Mahrez for an easy penalty. Aguero stepped to the spot calm as you like and dispatched the No. 2 to the scoreboard.

That was hardly the end to Watford’s woes, as Mahrez dazzled with a dribble through the heart of the field to earn a free kick atop the 18. There was only one destination, given the series of events. 3-0.

Bernardo Silva then got in on the act, when Otamendi nodded a De Bruyne corner to the back post for a prone finish and 4-0. Not to be outdone, Otamendi was back post for a finish of his own, giving City its fifth goal off an Aguero assist.

 [ MORE: Premier League stats ]

The Silvas, no relation, led a counter for City’s sixth goal, with Bernardo depositing the marker and the reigning PL champions within three goals of matching the league’s single game record.

De Bruyne collected another assist on Bernardo’s hat trick goal, as the Portuguese attacker scored despite bungling his first touch a bit.

Man City midfield controls Shakhtar in Ukraine

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Manchester City got its UEFA Champions League run off to a convincing start, easing some nerves from the weekend with a 3-0 defeat of Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan set each other up for goals, Gabriel Jesus also scored, and Fernandinho partnered with Nicolas Otamendi at center back to earn the clean sheet.


Three things we learned

1. Midfield runs the match: Center backs aren’t all that vital if the ball never gets to them, and Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri were exceptional (even with the latter taking an early yellow card). Rodri completed every single one of his 82 passes in helping City control the park, departing with less than a quarter-hour to play. Pep Guardiola had a lot of love for Gundogan’s day.

2. De Bruyne dangerous on an off day: Kevin De Bruyne just couldn’t find that final ball, constantly in dangerous areas but unable to execute that moment. Credited with three key passes including th, his shooting was the glaring difference between 3-0 and 5-0.

3. Shakhtar shows creative flair: Taison and Marlos both showed a knack for taking on defenders, each credited with four dribbles on the day. It was Shakhtar’s best chance to break down a disciplined City, and the closest the hosts came to succeeding on the day.

Man of the Match: Rodri


A Kevin De Bruyne free kick provided an early threat, but Rodri’s header was a bit off and unable to open the scoring in Ukraine.

Shakhtar then had a nice spell of possession, but City was up to the task. Rodri led a chance in the other direction and sent a ball back De Bruyne for a header, which was wide like the first.

Mahrez put City ahead on a rebound after Ilkay Gundogan took a Gabriel Jesus feed and pushed the ball off the post.

The Algerian didn’t need a post to return the favor, sending a delightful pass into the path of Gundogan for a smooth finish an 2-0.

De Bruyne finally got his assist when he took care of a bounding ball to Jesus for a chop into the goal.

Norwich ‘buzzing’ after historic victory v. Man City

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Newly-promoted Norwich City were in dreamland after shocking Manchester City 3-2 at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Daniel Farke‘s injury-hit squad were missing 11 players but dug deep and went 2-0 up as Teemu Pukki grabbed a goal and an assist to lead the Canaries to one of their biggest-ever wins in the Premier League.

Throughout the game Norwich tried to keep the ball and even though Man City had chances, they made so many mistakes which the Canaries took advantage of.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports after the game, Man of the Match Pukki revealed that Norwich were a little scared of facing City before the game.

“Of course, we were a bit scared about their quality, and I think you could see from the beginning that we felt we had a chance and we built our belief,” Pukki said. “They are very good, but we made it hard for them and we had chances to score maybe one more. The whole team defended unbelievably well and Tim [Krul] saved everything. I believed I could score at this level but maybe not as much as this so far.”

Man City made it very hard for themselves too.

Pep Guardiola started Kevin De Bruyne on the bench which seemed to set the tone for a sluggish Man City display all over the pitch.

Without the injured Aymeric Laporte, the central defensive duo of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi struggled massively, with the latter at fault for Pukki’s goal which sealed the win.

But focusing on Norwich and how they overcame injuries to prevail, Pukki praised the home supporters who created an intense atmosphere in Norfolk to help their team slay a giant.

“The atmosphere today at Carrow Road was probably the best since I have been here,” Pukki said. “It was crazy in some moments of the game. If you can beat Man City, you can beat whoever. Nothing is coming easy, we need to work today to win games in the Premier League.”

The celebrations in Norwich are underway and they are well deserved.

Pukki has scored six goals in his first five Premier League games and the Finnish striker epitomizes the hard-working Norwich squad. He led from the front and had the likes of Cantwell and Buendia supporting him in pressing Man City’s defense and Farke’s plan worked perfectly.

“We had to be special in our plan for City because they are the best team in the world but we had setbacks too with our injuries, but we deserve the win today we were exceptional,” Farke told the BBC. “[Ibrahim] Amadou was beautiful today playing in an unusual positon and a debut for Alex Tettey and Sam Byram too. I can’t praise the lads enough today. We had so many things too overcome… We want to win each and every game and we will try to defend. But with our philosophy we cannot just press an button and park the bus, we have to go with what we’ve got and what we believe in which is being on the front foot. But today it wasn’t possible to dominate the ball today so we had a special plan and thankfully it worked well.”

This is a historic, famous win for the Canaries as they made the most of a slack and error-strewn Man City display.

Norwich shock Man City

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Norwich City stunned Manchester City by beating the reigning champions 3-2 at Carrow Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Pep Guardiola‘s Man City last lost a Premier League game in January, and were outfought by Daniel Farke‘s Norwich who had 11 players out through injury.

The Canaries went 2-0 up early through Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell and although Sergio Aguero pulled one back before half time, Teemu Pukki made it 3-1 at the start of the second half. Man City pulled one back late on through Rodri to set up a stunning finish but the Canaries held on to some wild scenes at Carrow Road at the final whistle.

With the win, Norwich now have six points for the season. City remain on 10 points after being stunned.


3 things we learned

1. Laporte badly missed: It is too early to say that Aymeric Laporte‘s serious knee injury will cost Man City the title, but it is clear his absence will be a huge blow. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi were all over the place in central defense and their slack mistakes in possession epitomized a sloppy defensive display. Those issues spread to Kyle Walker and Ilkay Gundogan and perhaps Pep Guardiola’s decision to leave Kevin De Bruyne on the bench set the tone for the display.

2. Greatest upset in recent history?: Missing 11 players due to injury, Norwich fielded a whole host of newbies and pulled off one of the biggest shocks in recent PL history. Amadou was making his PL debut, while Tettey and Byram were also making their first starts of the season as Daniel Farke was forced to shuffle his pack. Before kick off you could get the same odds on Man City winning 7-0 as you could for a 0-0 draw. That is how unlikely this result was.

3. Pukki a revelation: With six goals to his name already, the Finnish journeyman was at his predatory best once again. He is so calm in front of goal and runs the channels so well on his own. He had little help in attack but gave Stones and Otamendi a torrid evening. Pukki is the breakout star of the PL season so far, and the August Player of the Month continued his wonderful form from the international break (two goals in two for Finland) to lead Norwich to a famous win.

Man of the Match: Teemu Pukki – A goal and an assist is fair enough, but Pukki sets the tone for this entire Norwich team. He runs himself into the ground each and every game, and when he gets a chance he has the composure to wait and wait and wait before slotting home or setting up a teammate. Norwich’s entire team put in superb displays, but Pukki is their undisputed talisman.


After Man City had dominated the early stages, Norwich shocked the reigning champs to take the lead. A corner found McLean and he flicked home a header to score his first Premier League goal and make it 1-0.

City battled their way back into the game and Aguero sent a good chance effort over the bar, before Norwich doubled their lead to send Carrow Road wild.

On the break Pukki ran towards goal and teed up Cantwell perfectly as the youngster slotted home to put Norwich in dreamland.

Before half time Sterling hit the post with a header, and right on half time Bernardo Silva’s cross found Aguero who nodded home to hand Man City a lifeline.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

At the start of the second half Man City were still all over the place defensively as Pukki dragged a shot wide after Stones was caught out and moments later it got worse.

Pukki punished yet another sloppy mistake, as Otamendi was caught on the ball by Emiliano Buendia and the Finnish striker was on hand to sweep home his sixth goal of the season.

Late on Man City threw everything at Norwich as Sterling’s cross was nodded over by Aguero and Tim Krul then denied Otamendi’s header with a fine save. Moments later Man City made it 3-2 as Rodri’s shot from distance set up a tense finale.

Norwich held on for a famous victory as Farke’s banged up squad put together a sensational, gritty display to beat Man City.

Watch Live: Norwich City v. Man City

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Norwich City host Manchester City at Carrow Road on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) with the Canaries hoping to cause a huge upset.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

The newly-promoted side have been entertaining to watch this season under Daniel Farke, with Teemu Pukki leading the line superbly.

But Man City and Pep Guardiola remain unbeaten and know they must keep winning to stay in touch with Liverpool at the top of the table.

In team news Norwich have plenty of injuries from a defensive standpoint as Amadou makes his full debut at center back, with Idah included in a PL squad for the first time.

John Stones starts at center back for Man City while Kevin De Bruyne is on the bench, perhaps with their midweek UEFA Champions League game at Shakhtar Donetsk in mind.


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