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Kevin De Bruyne more interested in City winning the title than individual praise

Kevin De Bruyne, left, scored four times as Manchester City thrashed Wolves to move closer to title success (Nick Potts/PA)
Kevin De Bruyne, left, scored four times as Manchester City thrashed Wolves to move closer to title success (Nick Potts/PA)

Kevin De Bruyne insists he is not interested in individual praise as he looks to close out the title for Manchester City.

The Belgian playmaker was at his brilliant best as he struck four times in City’s 5-1 thrashing of Wolves at Molineux on Wednesday.

It maintained a stunning run of form that has now seen him score 11 times in his last 13 appearances in all competitions.

After the first half of his season was marred by fitness issues, De Bruyne has undoubtedly been the key figure as City have moved to the brink of a fourth Premier League crown in five seasons.

He is arguably now in the best shape of his career but the 30-year-old is not interested in how his own performances rank.

De Bruyne said: “I think from the moment where my ankle was pain free, I have played a really good season.

“I have been consistently thinking I’ve been playing good and have also been playing games without any interruptions.

“So I’m really happy from that part but it’s not really what I want to do. I want to win the title and I want to get ready to win the game on Sunday. We’re not there yet and it’s going to be a really tough one, West Ham away.”

De Bruyne began the rout after just seven minutes and had completed his hat-trick within 24 minutes
De Bruyne began the rout after just seven minutes and had completed his hat-trick within 24 minutes (Nick Potts/PA)

City will have a chance to put one hand on the trophy when they travel to the London Stadium.

Wednesday’s rout restored a three-point advantage over second-placed Liverpool at the top with just two games remaining and also improved their goal difference to plus seven better than their Merseyside rivals’.

De Bruyne opened the scoring after just seven minutes and completed a sensational hat-trick of goals with his supposed weaker left foot inside 24 minutes. He added a fourth on the hour and even hit a post late on.

He almost created another goal for Phil Foden, who also hit a post, but City did register a fifth through Raheem Sterling.

De Bruyne said: “I think we played well and then obviously we scored three quick goals, and that set the tempo and the game we wanted to play.

“I think in the second half we did really well, we controlled it. We could have scored more goals but we did what we needed to do.”

The downside for City was the loss of Aymeric Laporte in the second half with a knee injury while Fernandinho also suffered a muscular problem.

The pair had been the starting centre-halves in the absence of John Stones and Ruben Dias. With Kyle Walker also out and Nathan Ake not fit enough to start, City are running out of defensive options.

Leander Dendoncker (right) quickly equalised after De Bruyne's first but Wolves struggled thereafter
Leander Dendoncker, right, quickly equalised after De Bruyne’s first but Wolves struggled thereafter (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Wolves exploited City’s weakness in this area as they briefly pegged them back at 1-1 with a breakaway goal from Leander Dendoncker but they could not handle the potency of the attack.

Fitness coach Carlos Cachada, standing in for Bruno Lage following the manager’s positive test for Covid-19, felt it was a game to write off and move on from.

“We look at things game by game,” he said. “We lost this game but we now have Norwich and we (will) try to react (to win) as many points as we can until the end of the season. We have six points to fight for.

“City are a top team, we understand that, and have to move on and think about Norwich.”