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A City Fan’s Perspective: OH, KEVIN DE BRUYNE...

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We love ya, Belgian!

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Manchester City rolled past West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night, as City have almost secured a Top 4 finish with a 3-1 victory over the Baggies at the Etihad.

West Brom have struggled against City over the last three seasons, and the pattern continued here. Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring once Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero picked apart the defense for the Brazilian, who tapped the Belgian’s cross into the net.

De Bruyne was the scorer of the second goal, which was a sublime finish into the bottom right corner after a bouncing ball fell to his magical right foot. Yaya Touré stuck the dagger into the Baggies’ hearts once he scored City’s third goal early in the second half, and Hal Robson-Kanu earned West Brom a consolation goal in the 87th minute.

Here’s an in depth look at City’s performance.

Defense

To be honest, the City defense never really had to worry about West Brom’s attack, as their focus was to stop City’s pressure going forward, which is a key aspect of Tony Pulis’ strategy. West Brom's plan obviously didn’t work, and the Baggies still had no danger in the attacking third during the whole match.

Willy Caballero only made one save, but that’s because Albion only produced two shots on target. The duo of Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi is continuing to produce for City, as they combined to win 3 aerial duels and make 5 tackles.

Aleksandar Kolarov is quite dangerous from free kick situations, and he doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as De Bruyne for his work on set pieces. Kolarov’s effort from almost 30 yards out still forced Ben Foster to make an impressive save, and he won 5 aerial duels on his own.

Although Fernandinho put in a much improved performance at full-back, the biggest storyline of the day was Pablo Zabaleta’s beautiful standing ovation during his last ever appearance at the Etihad as a Citizen. Ever since his arrival in 2008, the Argentine has established himself as one of the greatest players to ever wear the Sky Blue jersey. Well done, Pablo. We'll miss you dearly.

Midfield

This midfield still manages to impress me more and more. The tricks and passes that they pulled off just absolutely picked West Brom apart, and they had no trouble getting through the Baggies’ back line.

Yaya Touré is continuing to show supreme fitness at the age of 34, and he's still able to compete at the same speed as the rest of the City midfield. His goal on Wednesday was his fifth this season, and he shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

Leroy Sané wasn’t able to score this time, but he put in a great effort. His five tackles helped City recover the ball around West Brom’s area, and he made sure that no one would get past him on the wing.

David Silva didn't shine as usual, but he still had a solid game. His passes weren’t as accurate as usual, but he still produced one key pass and a shot.

However, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus both deserve most of the credit for City’s win. They alternated as scorer and assister for each of City’s first two goals, and they always give City a solid chance to win if their talents show on the pitch. De Bruyne’s sixteen assists lead the Premier League, and Jesus looked quite comfortable while playing in an unusual position on the right wing.

Attack

With a healthy Sergio Agüero and a midfield that consistently puts up numbers like these, City have one of the best attacking forces in the world. While Agüero is usually known for his goal scoring ability, he shined as a creator for City. He assisted Yaya Touré’s goal, created a big chance for Leroy Sané, and made two key passes on the night.


City now only need a draw in the season finale against Watford to secure a finish in the top four. With Liverpool one point behind and Arsenal three points behind, City look destined for another Champions League qualification. Finish the job, lads.