Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne could set individual PL records as Man City chase treble

Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne were once again the catalysts for an emphatic Man City win on Wednesday night.

The Citizens defeated Premier League title rivals Arsenal 4-1 in a devastating performance at the Etihad. However, unlike in other games, the two stars decided to switch roles.

Haaland turned provider against the Gunners, assisting both of De Bruyne’s goals. Of course, the Norwegian also got on the scoresheet himself, grabbing City’s fourth on the night.

Similarly, alongside scoring twice, Kevin de Bruyne got his typical assist for John Stone’s header. Rob Holding gave Arsenal a consolation goal during a difficult game for the Gunners.

The Belgian now thus moves onto 16 Premier League assists in 2022/23. This puts De Bruyne just four behind the single-season record (20) that he holds with Thierry Henry.

Erling Haaland, meanwhile, already secured one historic stat with his strike last night. He moved up to 33 league goals – breaking the 38-match season record for a single campaign. The mercurial striker will now aim for the record that Andy Cole and Alan Shearer jointly hold (34 goals).

These two players have combined brilliantly throughout this season to push City toward a treble. On a personal note, though, they have seven games with which to reach these targets. De Bruyne will need five more assists from the remaining matches to enter the PL history books, with Haaland requiring just two goals from the same amount.

Unsurprisingly, Pep Guardiola is full of praise for his dynamic duo.

Guardiola hails “natural” Haaland – De Bruyne partnership

Speaking in the wake of City’s dominating 4-1 win, Guardiola played down his influence on the pair’s link-up.

“The game belongs to them,” insisted Guardiola, via ESPN. “I didn’t teach them how they find each other in training. Footballers are more natural than you expect.

“Erling knows when Kevin has the ball. Kevin is a master of the assist with or without Erling. Erling scores goals all the time with or without Kevin. But together, with space behind, they are so dangerous.”

Whilst De Bruyne and Haaland stand on the brink of individual records, Man City are focused on their historic treble attempt.

What stands between City and a treble?

If the Citizens are to become the first team since Man United in 1999 to win the treble, they must overcome a few more tough challenges.

Firstly, they are not yet ahead in the league. City are two points behind Arsenal – albeit with two games in hand. Nevertheless, they need to overturn that deficit and win the title in their remaining seven games.

A trip to Fulham comes first, followed by a pair of home games against West Ham and Leeds. Following this, City are away at Everton, then host Chelsea. Their game against the Blues is the final league match at the Etihad in 2022/23.

Manchester City thus see out the season with two away games. These are both tricky – against Brighton and Brentford. However, with the way that Pep Guardiola’s side is steamrollering opponents, this is not a horrendous run-in.

The Cup competitions

This brings us to the second element of the treble – the Champions League. Like last season, City face Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the competition. They will thus hope to avenge their elimination at the hands of Los Blancos 12 months ago.

A visit to the Bernabeu beckons first, after which the Etihad hosts the second leg. Should they progress, Man City will face one of the Milan sides in the Final.

Speaking of Finals, the Citizens have already booked their FA Cup showpiece slot. Yes, City will be travelling to Wembley yet again after beating Sheffield United in the semis.

Their opponents in June are local rivals Manchester United. The Red Devils will be desperate to stop their neighbours from matching their historic achievement of 1999 – and have the chance to deny them.

Domestically, City ran out 6-3 winners over Erik ten Hag’s side in October. However, the reverse fixture at Old Trafford saw United win 2-1. So, the Wembley showdown is anyone’s guess.

If Man City can keep Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne fit and firing, then anything is possible.

Featured image credit: Getty