Kevin De Bruyne’s most goals in a season: Belgium superstar copies Haaland celebration and fires Man City towards title

What a difference a week makes for Manchester City.

Seven days on from their incredible collapse at Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, Pep Guardiola’s side have hammered five goals past Newcastle and Wolves to take two huge strides towards their fourth Premier League title in five seasons.

And, just in case they were not looking lethal enough in opposition penalty areas, City announced on May 10 that Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland will be joining them beginning next season.

But Wednesday’s resounding 5-1 win at Wolves was all about one man, who proved he remains indisputably the top dog at City — no matter who the next big-name signing is.

MORE: Man City’s first Galactico: Haaland was the superstar Pep could not ignore

Kevin De Bruyne’s most goals scored in a single season?

Kevin De Bruyne led a demolition of Wolves, clipping home Bernardo Silva’s througball in the seventh minute to open the scoring at Molineux.

The Belgium midfielder was arguably culpable when his international teammate Leander Dendoncker equalised for Wolves, but he smashed home a bouncing ball to restore the visitors’ lead.

De Bruyne then took possession from Raheem Sterling to cut inside and hammer a low drive in from outside the penalty area.

That wrapped up a 24-minute hat-trick, all scored via his weaker left foot. It ranks as the third-quickest hat-trick for a player starting a match in Premier League history, after Sadio Mane for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015 (16 minutes) and Dwight Yorke for Manchester United against Arsenal in February 2001 (22 minutes).

He was not done there, hitting another unstoppable finish beyond Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa before Sterling completed the scoring.

De Bruyne’s midweek haul means he now has 15 in the Premier League this season and 19 in all competitions. Both represent the best tallies of his career.

His previous best in the Premier League was 13 in 2019/20, when his all-competitions tally of 16 matched the amount he scored in his first season at the Etihad Stadium in 2015/16 and at Wolfsburg when he was crowned Bundesliga Player of the Season a year earlier.

Season Club Total
Goals
Premier
League
Europe Domestic
cups
2021-22 Man City 19 15 2 2
2020-21 Man City 10 6 3 1
2019-20 Man City 16 13 2 1
2018-19 Man City 6 2 0 4
2017-18 Man City 12 8 1 3
2016-17 Man City 7 6 1 0
2015-16 Man City 16 7 3 6

Did De Bruyne copy Erling Haaland’s celebration?

De Bruyne’s hat-trick was the second of his career and first in 10-and-a-half years, having hit a treble for Genk in a 5-4 win over Club Brugge in October 2011.

Haaland is certainly more of a specialist in these terms, but that did not stop De Bruyne from marking his third at Wolves in cheeky fashion.

Running towards the away fans, he pinched his thumbs and index fingers together to mimic Haaland’s meditation celebration that he has unfurled on many occasions.

“I did a couple of interviews and they said, ‘was it [immitating] Haaland? I just did it because I scored three!” De Bruyne told Sky Sports afterwards, fooling no one in particular.

How many players scored four goals in a Premier League game?

De Bruyne joined a pretty exclusive club.

Edin Dzeko was the first City player to score four times in a Premier League match, as Roberto Mancini’s City hammered Tottenham 5-1 in the early stages of their 2011/12 title-winning campaign.

Sergio Aguero got the other goal that day and the prolific former Argentina international hit a record 12 Premier League hat-tricks. Two of those were four-goal hauls, against Spurs in October 2014 and Leicester in 2018.

City’s all-time record goalscorer also hit five in a 6-1 win over Newcastle in October 2015, with De Bruyne netting the other.

He could have matched Aguero with a fifth goal against Wolves when he thundered a right-footed strike against the post in the second half, but had to be content with sitting alongside the four-goal heroics Gabriel Jesus produced against Watford last month.

It means City are just the third side to have two players score four or more goals in a game during the same season. Andy Cole and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did so for Manchester United in 1999/00, while Tottenham duo Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe matched their exploits 10 years later.

How many more points to Man City need to win the Premier League?

A three-point advantage over Liverpool, with each team having two games remaining, means four more points will see City retain the title.

Guardiola’s team travels to face West Ham on Sunday before welcoming Aston Villa to the Etihad Stadium on the final weekend.

Even if Liverpool win their remaining matches against Southampton and Wolves, then three points could be enough for City given the drastic goal difference swing that has taken place over recent weeks.

The victory at Wolves made City the first team in Premier League history to win five games in a row all by three or more goals. That has contributed to them boasting a seven-goal advantage over Liverpool on goal difference (+72 to +65), which is arguably as good as an extra point at this late stage of the campaign.

Dropping Haaland into that mix is a truly frightening prospect.

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