Whilst John Stones might steal the headlines after his impressive display in the 4-0 win against Crystal Palace, it was perhaps Kevin De Bruyne who should pick up the plaudits after another dominant midfield performance.
Pep Guardiola’s side scored some beautiful goals on Sunday evening, with screamers from Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, but there is no doubt that De Bruyne played the pass of the night, as his outside-of-the-foot cross was perfect for Stones to head home the opener.
As per SofaScore, the Belgian international picked up an 8.1 rating for his display against Palace, which was only bettered by the English centre-back, or the ‘Barnsley Beckenbauer’ as he often dubbed by City fans online.
During his time on the pitch, De Bruyne had 70 touches of the ball and completed 36/40 of his passes, resulting in an impressive pass success rate of 95%.
The 29-year-old has averaged an 81.5% success rate in the Premier League so far this season, emphasising that he was a level above his usual high standards on Sunday evening.
The former Chelsea man also played three key passes, which was more than all of the Crystal Palace players combined, with the midfielder once again demonstrating his immense quality.
It was not just his passing and creative play that was impressive, however, as he also made four tackles and two interceptions, whilst he was successful in six of his duels, suggesting that he had the better of the Palace midfielders, who all earned poor ratings for their performances.
Considering the Belgian usually averages 0.4 interceptions and 1.7 tackles per game, it was clear that, even from a defensive point of view, he was at the top of his game against Hodgson’s side.
Earlier this year, Roy Keane was full of praise for the 29-year-old, saying:
“World-class. Football intelligence. His decision making”
“He affects games. He’s great to watch. He’s always in control.”
WhoScored rated the midfielder as the man-of-the-match against the Eagles, so it seems as if they agree that, despite Stones’ brace, De Bruyne was. once again, the standout player for Guardiola’s side at the Etihad.