The Citizens survived a bit of a scare in the second leg against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena before their two attacking masterminds combined to put the Bavarians to the sword. After City won the first leg 3-0, a possible comeback from a weakened Bayern side seemed unlikely.
They started the game off well and dominated the first half, which also saw Haaland miss a penalty. But City made them pay for their sloppiness, with De Bruyne receiving the ball inside the opposition half in a dangerous counter-attack.
He played a slick pass to send Haaland through, with the Norwegian getting lucky enough to see Dayot Upamecano slip and allow him to score the opening goal. Bayern pulled one back through Joshua Kimmich’s penalty, but that was hardly enough.
Kevin de Bruyne adds another valuable assist to his bag
A lot of the spotlight after the game was, predictably, on Haaland for scoring the crucial goal – taking his tally to an unreal 48 goals in all competitions this season. While the Norwegian forward is looking set to break all sorts of goal records at City, De Bruyne has discreetly been climbing up on the assist tally as well.
Indeed, the Belgian midfielder has recorded an amazing 23 assists in all competitions for City this season – having played a few games fewer than Haaland as well. He has more assists than any player in Europe’s top-5 leagues and is really enjoying the prospect of seeing a goal machine like Erling finish off the chances he creates perfectly.
De Bruyne just doesn’t seem like he’s going to slow down anytime soon and is still racking up big numbers in major games at the age of 31. He will go down as one of the best creative players of all time by the end of his career and has already achieved an impressive feat after his heroics against Bayern.
Has De Bruyne bettered David Beckham as Football’s Assist King?
The Belgian midfielder has some insane goal numbers in his City career, having scored 93 goals and provided 147 assists n 348 appearances for the Citizens across his career. This is even though City lacked a proper goal-scorer for many years during that stint.
As per OPTA records, De Bruyne has 259 official assists for club and country both across his career. That is equal to the number of official assists that Manchester United legend David Beckham managed throughout the entirety of his career.
The Belgian midfielder, however, has managed to equal that record having played 15,000 minutes (or 167 full-90 min games) fewer. That is quite simply astounding and proves just how incredibly consistent De Bruyne has been on all fronts over the course of his career.
Beckham was lauded as the ‘king of crosses’ and a creative genius during his playing career for his amazing crossing ability and pinpoint accuracy. But the fact that De Bruyne has already matched his feat and will better his assist record soon (perhaps as soon as City’s FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United on Sunday) proves that the City midfielder now surely holds the crown of football’s ‘Assist King’.