Manchester City romped to a 5-0 victory over basement boys Norwich on the final day of the Premier League season, as Kevin De Bruyne matched Thierry Henry's record of 20 Premier League assists in a single campaign.
The visitors had an Onel Hernandez goal chalked off early on by VAR, and they were soon ruing that decision as City opened the scoring through Gabriel Jesus.
In true City fashion, Pep Guardiola's side dominated possession - with wave after wave of attacks putting Daniel Farke's young defence on the back foot. The Canaries were dogged to break down, but were two down at the break as De Bruyne rifled home a fantastic solo effort.
After the break, City found their mojo and wrapped up their season in scintillating style. Raheem Sterling added a third - thanks to De Bruyne's record breaking assist - before Riyad Mahrez bagged a fourth with just over five minutes remaining.
Fittingly, the final word was De Bruyne's - as he bagged a fifth to earn legendary midfielder David Silva, who captained City on the day, the send of he deserved.
Key Talking Point
With this his last ever top-flight appearance in a City shirt, the Premier League waved goodbye to a magician named David Silva.
The 34-year-old bowed out with a typically wonderful display - drifting gracefully between the lines, picking up pockets of space and linking play up effortlessly.
A goal would have been a fitting send of, but Norwich's defence obviously hadn't read the script - as they closed down the Spaniard whenever they could. The only low point of this occasion is that City's send of didn't take place in front of a packed house at the Etihad, as Silva's decade of service deserved a standing ovation from an adoring home faithful.
David Silva thankyou for the silky smooth fizzy bublech respect ✊ good luck CTID LG x— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) July 26, 2020
David Silva off to about as much applause as you can get in an empty stadium. What a player— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) July 26, 2020
Rivalries aside but David Silva will be missed. What an amazing player!!!#ManCity— Aves Shaikh (@SiempreUtd_) July 26, 2020
David Silva, the best Spanish player in the premier league! Unreal?— JP (@bigun_7) July 26, 2020
Manchester City Player Ratings
Sarting XI: Ederson (7); Walker (8), Garcia (6), Laporte (7), Cancelo (7); De Bruyne (9*), Rodri (6), Silva (7); Foden (6), Jesus (7), Sterling (8).
Substitutes: Fernandinho (6), Mahrez (7), Gundogan (6), Bernardo Silva (5).
Kevin de Bruyne
It was another masterful display from the brilliant De Bruyne as he bossed the midfield, taking his goals superbly and being generally in control throughout.
The 29-year-old's assist for Sterling's goal matched Thierry Henry's Premier League's record of 20, while his two goals took his goal tally to 13 - making it 33 goal contributions in 35 appearances. De Bruyne remains one of the world's best, and despite the departure of his partner in crime Silva, looks set to continue dominating Premier League defences for many years to come.
100 - Kevin De Bruyne has now been directly involved in 100 goals in 155 Premier League games, scoring 35 and setting up 65. Prince. pic.twitter.com/Xd7Uzq1a65— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 26, 2020
Okay Kevin De Bruyne is a joke of a player.— Ryan (@bernardooooV3) July 26, 2020
The best in the World.
Kevin De Bruyne better win PFA Player of the year, elite midfielder— ???? (@94POA) July 26, 2020
Key Talking Point
Norwich's youthful core offers plenty of promise for the future, but they were always going to have a tough afternoon against a City side who would dominate possession from the first minute.
The Canaries didn't expect to get anything out of the game, and can be pleased with the defensive work they put in for the first 75 minutes. Had Hernandez's early goal stood, we may have seen a different outcome - but City's quality and abiility to pull Norwich all over the pitch understandably wore out some tired legs.
A tilt at the Championship title awaits next season, and things are looking up - despite results suggesting otherwise - if Norwich can keep hold of the likes of Jamal Lewis, Ben Godfrey, Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell.
Norwich Player Ratings
Starting XI: Krul (6); Aarons (6), Zimmermann (6), Godfrey (7*), Lewis (6); Cantwell (6), Rupp (5), McLean (4), Stiepermann (5), Hernandez (6); Pukki (4).
Substitutes: Vrancic (5), Idah (5), Famewo (4), Martin (4), Thomas (4).
It was another difficult afternoon for Ben Godfrey, but the 22-year-old was diligent in his defensive work - making plenty of interceptions, winning headers and generally putting himself about.
Coming up against the likes of De Bruyne, Sterling, Silva and Jesus isn't easy for anybody, but he showed that he's capable of playing at this level, despite the heavy scoreline.
Think Man City should buy Ben Godfrey! The amount of blocks he’s made so far is ridiculous ? #MCFC— Faisal Khan (@faisalkhxn22) July 26, 2020
Manchester City's season is far from done, as they have a Champions League campaign to wrap up in August - starting with a second-leg tie against Real Madrid.
Norwich, meanwhile, now have some time off to prepare for a new challenge next season.
Source : 90min