He suffered a ruptured ACL in his right knee during a 5-0 win over Crystal Palace in September and has been out of action since, although his absence did not prevent Pep Guardiola's side from winning the Premier League with five matches to spare.
With four games left, City needs six more points to post the most points outright in a Premier League campaign, six more goals for the most goals in a Premier League campaign, and two more wins to post the most victories in a Premier League campaign. "They are the champions and a level above everyone else". De Bruyne - City's player of the season - warmed Fabianski's fingers with a left-foot zinger.
Arsenal's Invincibles of 2003/04 were a team ahead of their time in playing a continental style, but even then they had Patrick Vieira, Sol Campbell and Kolo Touré to act as enforcers when?beautiful football wasn't working.
De Bruyne smashed in a stunning 25-yard strike nine minutes into the second half - his fifth outside the box this season, more than any other player in the league.
David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus were all on target as City put on a true Champions' performance at the Etihad Stadium.
There are records to be broken - most notably those for most points, most wins and most goals - and the City boss wants to secure them all.Читайте также: Zidane downplays anti-Real Madrid sentiments
Of his team, whose 1,015 attempted passes was the most since 2003-04, breaking records, Guardiola said: "Looking for them helps to keep the players focused".
Sterling played a key role in those two early goals, helping set up David Silva's opener before finding the net himself soon after, as City found itself two up after just 16 minutes.
Silva's opening goal saw him become the sixth City player into double figures for the season after Sergio Aguero (30), Sterling (23), Jesus (15), Sane (13) and De Bruyne (12).
"It is important, to get these numbers you have to be in a good state in all departments". City's first showed Silva's improvement close to goal with a clever finish. Manager Carlos Carvalhal said the result would have "zero" impact on confidence going into the final few weeks of the season. "From pre-season and in the first and second games".
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