Kevin De Bruyne hailed a special night but felt he should have scored five after netting four times in Manchester City’s thrashing of Wolves.
De Bruyne was the star of the show as City ran out 5-1 winners at Molineux to restore a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
With just two games to play and a goal difference plus seven better than second-placed Liverpool, City are closing in on a fourth title in five seasons.
De Bruyne began the rout after just seven minutes, completed a left-footed hat-trick inside 24 and then added a fourth on the hour. He went close to a competition record-equalling fifth when he hit the post in the closing moments.
The Belgian told Sky Sports: “It was pretty nice. When you score four goals it is always something special. It should have been five to be honest but I think we played well.
“We could have scored even more and to do that against a Wolves team who are defensively sound was really impressive.”
De Bruyne’s stunning performance came just a day after City announced they had agreed a deal to bolster their attack with the prolific Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland next season.
De Bruyne appeared to offer a nod towards the club’s stunning capture by celebrating his third goal with arms outstretched in the manner of Haaland, but he insisted that was just coincidence.
“I did a couple of interviews and they said (it was like) Haaland, but I didn’t even know,” he said. “I just did it because I scored three and that never happens.”
After thrashing Newcastle 5-0 at the weekend, City have scored 10 goals since their heart-breaking Champions League semi-final loss at Real Madrid.
De Bruyne said: “The feeling is still not nice, but you need to move on. We try to now win the title and whatever happened unfortunately happened and you have to move on.”
Raheem Sterling added City’s fifth goal late on and Phil Foden also hit the post in a dominant display.
Manager Pep Guardiola said: “I’m so pleased for the performance and the result and the goals. We could have scored much much more. It was a brilliant performance from all the players.”
On De Bruyne’s performance, Guardiola said: “I am disappointed for him because he missed the fifth goal, the post!
“He is always so generous and has the sense to make an assist but I think this season he also has the sense to be prolific and score goals. He has been decisive in scoring goals – this is what the greatest do.
“I am very pleased for him, scoring four goals in the decisive part of the league is so important.”
The downside for City was the loss of centre-back Aymeric Laporte with a knee injury while Fernandinho, deployed as a makeshift defender, also felt a niggle.
With Kyle Walker, John Stones and Ruben Dias sidelined and Nathan Ake not fully fit, City are running out of defensive options.
Guardiola said: “Apparently it doesn’t look good – some muscular problems for Fernandinho. Ayme had a tough knock in his knee and it will be difficult for Sunday.”
Guardiola also gave his reaction to the signing of Haaland.
“Big congratulations to the club,” he said. “He is a young talented player. I’m very pleased he decided to come and join us.”
Wolves were swept aside but did briefly peg City back at 1-1 with a Leander Dendoncker goal.
Fitness coach Carlos Cachada, filling in for the absent Bruno Lage following the manager’s positive Covid-19 test, said: “I think it’s a fair result. We were good in spells and responded quite well with a few counter-attacks but they’re a strong team.
“There’s nothing to say about it, it was a fair result and congratulations to Man City.
“You plan the things to stop them as a collective but then guys come and score four goals.”