Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne once again showed his class as he helped the reigning champions move to the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
His performance was summed up by seeing how rattled the London club was by him, as we saw him get into a touchline incident with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, as well as being pelted with bottles by some unruly fans in red.
The Belgian was at the heart of everything for Citizens and put in an impressive display as the visitors took control of the game.
KDB opened the scoring for the champions in the first half, with a superb finish that left Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with no chance. He then turned provider in the second half, playing a crucial role in City’s third goal that sealed the win.
Due to his on-field excellence, it is safe to say even the sight of him was frustrating to everyone involved with Arsenal.
Surprisingly, it was Mikel Arteta who was the one he got to first. As the ball went out of play, the Arsenal manager appeared to shield the ball from De Bruyne and kicked it away from the midfielder. This prompted a reaction from the Belgian, who pushed Arteta and pointed at him as a warning.
Anthony Taylor, the official refereeing the game and who had already booked several City players, was not one to turn this incident into something bigger than it already was. He intervened and let both go on without a card.
The incident was an example of the high stakes of the title race and the tensions that come with it. However, De Bruyne did not let it affect his performance as he continued to dominate the game and play a vital role in City’s victory.
As Haaland got City’s third and put the game to bed, De Bruyne was subbed off and he took his time walking on the sidelines to take in the defeated atmosphere.
Not taking kindly to this, the Arsenal fans threw beers and other objects at the Belgian midfielder as he made his way back to the dugout. De Bruyne managed to dodge the missiles and was seen grinning as he made his way to safety.
He took the incident a step further, as he posted on his Instagram two photos of him being thrown beers at, with the caption “Beer Anyone? Thanks.” He is clearly loving this fight, and he is out for blood as he aims to lift his fifth Premier League title.
It is important to note that such behaviour from the stands is unacceptable and has no place in football.
Arteta also expressed his unhappiness about the incident and the behaviour of the fans. When asked in the post-match interview if incidents like these were something he wanted to see, he replied, “Certainly not. I haven’t seen it, but certainly not.”
For all the tension during the match, it seems both De Bruyne and Arteta ended the game cordially –
The two shared the dressing room when Arteta was assistant manager at Manchester City, but for all his experience with him, Arteta had no solution for De Bruyne. De Bruyne’s performance was a statement of intent from Manchester City.
They showed that they are not ready to surrender their Premier League title just yet and that they will fight until the end to retain their crown. De Bruyne played a key role in the victory, and with the off-field incidents, he can proudly claim he had the Emirates on a string last night.