undefined

  Just before the hour mark, and as Gabriel Jesus was replaced by Leroy Sané amid applause from the home fans on the back of a catastrophic screen in front of goal, Kevin De Bruyne may be seen talking with David Silva and Sergio Agüero. The Belgian seemed to be telling and went over to each in turn. It was not possible to pick up what he was saying, but given everything that had happened up until then, it wouldn't have been a surprise to have heard that his message was a simple one: "Keep going, lads, I have this." The 26-year-old was magnificent here, helping City's first two goals, scored by Agüero and Jesus, playing a part in their fourth -- place away by Sané -- and generally offering a muscular, intelligent and technically outstanding display in an advanced midfield position.

  De Bruyne didn't stand out with space one of people in blue, but he did stand outside, and at times seemed to be playing an entirely different game to everybody else, such as the time and distance he managed to find on the pitch. Little wonder Silva and Agüero listened closely with his instructions that he truly and well had this. "I am quite satisfied with his performance," stated Pep Guardiola of City's No17. "He's great on balls on the feet. He's very good running, attacking the distance. With his two aids here, De Bruyne has now provided 39 in all competitions since coming from Wolfsburg for £51m in August 2015. agen sbobet

  There also have been numerous displays that were man-of-the-match and 23 goals. Yet he can't consider himself undroppable, and especially while Guardiola proceeds to deploy a system comprising a midfield where Fernandinho supplies two playmakers with the support that is defensive. De Bruyne is competing to fill one of those spots not just with David Silva but also Bernado Silva, who are increasingly getting up to speed following his late coming in the Confederations Cup and having signed from Monaco for £43.6m in May. There is Ilkay Gündogan and Yaya Touré to think about, together with the latter returning to the matchday squad of City on Saturday for the first time. The competition is fierce and criteria for all those involved in the struggle for recognition can't drop. De Bruyne seems to be aware of that if his screen here is anything to go by. Deployed alongside David Silva for a league game in succession, those tormented to finish, moving across and through the lines although starting off at a position.

undefined

  Five minutes later came De Bruyne's first help and it told you so much about his assurance and capability. There was a touch to control the ball once it came his way within the circle and then out of Fernandinho, with ease, a perfectly weighted to place Agüero running through the heart of the visitors 'defense. De Bruyne was at a position and Liverpool had no clue how to manage him. It ought to be noted that post-Mané's sending off Liverpool were unbelievably poor, all but giving up en route to their heaviest defeat under Jürgen Klopp, but that shouldn't remove from City's functionality, one full of swagger and ruthlessness, and which suggests that for all their defensive frailties, which again were on display, they have enough in attack to win the title. And in the center of it was De Bruyne, the booked figure that catches the eye again and again. "This season he's in a fantastic mood, maybe because he's a dad," said Guardiola. "We're a blessed club to have Kevin."