Devastating De Bruyne shines as City beat West Brom

Spurs's Eriksen on early strike

City increased their gap at the top after Manchester United lost 2-0 at Tottenham, while struggling West Brom are now four points from safety.

De Bruyne was on the verge of stunning the world with goal of the season, as he unleashed a curling shot from the middle of the park with Foster luckily touching it with his fingertips to give a corner for the Citizens. "If one of the best players run and right like Kevin does the rest follow him". There's Kevin the Goalscorer, Kevin the Creator and Kevin the Destroyer.

Fernandinho found the breakthrough, slipping a finish through Ben Foster's legs after being played in through the inside-left channel, but the goal was all about De Bruyne, who provided yet another example of his mastery with the ball.

Breaking up the pitch at speed, he even rode a awful attempt to bring him down from James McClean, before playing a one-two with Sterling and rolling it into an empty net. The Man City midfielder stayed on his feet and played a one-two with Raheem Sterling before scoring. Ederson did not face any serious West Brom attack and was largely not involved as City had almost 75% possession of the ball.

"I told him yesterday "sign the contract and shut up", Mourinho said with a laugh.

This could see City's record signing Aymeric Laporte sit out, despite impressing heavily on his debut against the Baggies. His appearance was a surprise, given his move was only completed on Tuesday, but he was selected after John Stones fell ill.

The Frenchman was solid all night, helping keep an important clean sheet and playing some excellent passes.

Oleksandar Zinchenko has impressed at left-back in recent weeks, although Guardiola may go for a bit more defensive solidity by picking Danilo for what could be a physical clash with the Clarets. This great start will settle plenty of nerves for the future.

The 30-year-old will definitely sit out United's next game against Huddersfield on Saturday and is now in serious danger of missing the Champions League double header against Sevilla.

Just a week ago, Chelsea was also eliminated from the League Cup by Arsenal in the semifinals and Conte's second season in charge is proving much tougher than his first. "When he is able to improve that he will be a top-class player, so I'm happy because today what I feel is this is one of the best performances we played this season". De Bruyne not only set up the opening goal with an inch-perfect pass for Fernandinho but was central to nearly all City's attacks and had several chances to score himself before finally taking one in the second half.

On both occasions the referee handed out a less severe punishment than necessary and it wasn't the first time either.

West Brom manager Alan Pardew on loanee Daniel Sturridge: "You would have to put him in the same category as Harry Kane".