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Gabriel Jesus lauds Manchester City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne was outstanding in Manchester City's victory over Stoke
Kevin De Bruyne was outstanding in Manchester City's victory over Stoke

Gabriel Jesus joined the chorus of approval for Kevin De Bruyne after Manchester City swept Stoke aside with ease on Saturday.

The in-form De Bruyne was again at his scintillating best as City moved clear at the top of the Premier League with a 7-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

The Belgian did not get on the scoresheet himself but he marked his 100th appearance for the club with a dynamic display that saw him set up four goals.

His vision opened Stoke the defence for early strikes from Jesus and Raheem Sterling before perfectly-weighted passes played in Jesus for a second and Leroy Sane later in the game.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes said De Bruyne was "head and shoulders above anybody else in the Premier League" and Jesus was also full of praise.

"He is one of the best players in the world," said the Brazil striker. "His quality is outstanding as an individual out on the pitch, but it's the way that he makes that work for the whole team, and connects with the other players, that makes him special."

His brilliance had fans chanting his name as the goals poured in during the second half, rather than the scorers themselves.

"Kevin deserves the love from the fans," added Jesus, 20. "We can't decide who they show their affection to but the important thing is that every player gives their all out on the pitch. We are scoring goals, making assists and winning games and that is the main thing."

City were 3-0 up inside 27 minutes with David Silva also on the scoresheet. Stoke remarkably pulled that back to 3-2 despite being starved of possession as Mame Biram Diouf struck and Kyle Walker diverted into his own net but City - and De Bruyne - upped a gear.

Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva were also on target in a one-sided second period.

City have scored 37 goals in their 11 games in all competitions and look formidable. Manager Pep Guardiola feels he is now being vindicated for sticking to his principles when, at times last season, defensive work was criticised.

He said: "I am not here for entertainment, I am here to win. But last season when people said you have to change the way you play - they said it many times, like when we were not able to win our games at home or lost at Leicester 4-2 - I said, 'No, that is not going to happen'.

"It is about winning but the way I want to play is like this."

Hughes had no complaints about his side's hammering.

The former City boss said: "At 3-2 we were certainly back in the game but players like De Bruyne see those situations and then they just grab the initiative, say this is unacceptable and take the game away from you by the quality of their play. We are not the first to come here and get turned over."

Press Association

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