Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring the opening goal against Bournemouth.
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring the opening goal against Bournemouth. PETER POWELL

Belgian up there with best: Guardiola

FOOTBALL: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Kevin de Bruyne is behind only Lionel Messi as the best player in the world after another star performance.

The Belgian scored City's first goal in the 4-0 drubbing of Bournemouth to make it five wins out of five in the English Premier League.

City now has a club record eight successive wins out of eight in all competitions this campaign and sits on top of the EPL ladder.

De Bruyne now has 18 goals and 16 assists in 48 games for the Sky Blues and Guardiola says he deserves to be up there with Messi.

"Messi is on a table on his own. No one else is allowed. But the table beside, Kevin can sit there," Guardiola said.

"Kevin is an outstanding player.

"Without the ball he is the first fighter. With the ball he is clear. He sees absolutely everything.

"He makes the right decision in the right moment every single time."

City was dominant and two clinical counter-attacks led to Kelechi Iheanacho and Raheem Sterling tap-ins after de Bruyne's opener.

Ilkay Gundogan scored a fourth, with the only downside the ending off of striker Nolito sent for an attempted head-butt.

Everton moved up to second and stayed unbeaten with a 3-1 home success over Middlesbrough at Goodison Park.

It was the Toffees' fourth straight win and came courtesy of goals from Gareth Barry, in his 600th top-flight appearance, Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku.

Arsenal is third after a 4-1 win at Hull.

Alexis Sanchez scored twice and had a penalty saved in the victory.

Leicester City's record signing Islam Slimani scored twice on his EPL debut in a 3-0 win over Burnley, while West Ham conceded four goals for a second game running in a 4-2 loss at West Brom.



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