Kevin De Bruyne claims a “do-or-die” attitude is driving Manchester City on in their treble quest.
City took firm control of the Premier League title race on Wednesday as they thrashed leaders Arsenal 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
The victory took them within two points of the Gunners at the top and, with two games in hand, they are very well placed to go on and secure their fifth title in six years.
City are also through to the FA Cup final and the last four of the Champions League and have a strong chance of emulating Manchester United’s 1999 achievement of scooping all three trophies.
“I think we’ve been playing well for months, winning most of the games,” said playmaker De Bruyne, who scored twice in an unexpectedly comfortable defeat of Arsenal.
“We’ve been defensively good recently but we know it’s do or die every game. It’s going to be the same on Sunday, we have to win. We can’t win this one and then go to Fulham and not win.
“I think everyone wants to play in games like this. We are very fortunate to have played in these games a lot of times, being in this position.
“It’s great to be fighting for these things. We keep going to the end of the season.”
De Bruyne’s opener came after just seven minutes and he also provided the cross for John Stones to double the lead just before the break.
The Belgian’s second on 54 minutes effectively wrapped up victory and Erling Haaland – with his 49th goal of the season – completed the scoring in added time after Rob Holding had netted an Arsenal consolation.
“I just try to play the best football I can,” said De Bruyne of his outstanding contribution.
“It was fine, picking the right moments to go in behind and I think we really hurt them in that first half on occasions. We could have scored more.”
There is little respite for City with Sunday’s trip to Fulham followed by home games against West Ham and Leeds next week before the first leg of their Champions League tie with Real Madrid in the Spanish capital.
Talk of the treble is growing but De Bruyne does not know if they have a better chance of achieving it now than in previous seasons.
“It’s hard to say, we’ve come close in other years,” he said. “We won all the cups in England one year but we lost against Tottenham in the last minute in the quarters of the Champions League.
“Things happen. It’s so hard to think about it anyway as the schedule is so tough. We don’t even have the time to think about what can happen in two weeks – because in three days we play again and we need to be 100 per cent ready.
“In some ways it’s good to have such a tight schedule so you don’t have the opportunity to think about it. It’s fun and hard but this is the way we like it.”