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De Bruyne nets 4, City beats Wolves 5-1 to take 3-point lead

May 11, 2022 GMT
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)
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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring his first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Nick Potts/PA via AP)

WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — Kevin De Bruyne produced a string of devastating finishes in scoring four of Manchester City’s goals in a 5-1 win at Wolverhampton to restore its three-point lead over Liverpool in the Premier League title race on Wednesday.

In a masterful attacking display, De Bruyne completed his hat trick by the 24th minute and marked it with a “Zen” pose — perhaps a nod to the celebration made famous by Erling Haaland, the striker who is set to join City from Borussia Dortmund in the offseason.

The Belgium midfielder added his fourth on the hour mark with another clinical strike into the bottom corner to ensure no way back for Wolves, who had equalized through Leander Dendoncker in the 11th.

Raheem Sterling wrapped up the scoring in the 84th as City made it five goals for the second straight match, after a 5-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.

Crucially, City’s goal difference is now superior to Liverpool’s by 7, potentially meaning Pep Guardiola’s team might only need to win one of its final two games — against West Ham on Sunday and Aston Villa a week later — to retain the title.

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Liverpool, which beat Villa 2-1 on Tuesday, has league games to come against Southampton and Wolves.

A negative on the night for City was center back Aymeric Laporte coming off with an apparent knee injury. Guardiola is already without three defenders — Ruben Dias, Kyle Walker and John Stones — for the rest of the season.

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