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Kevin de Bruyne - 'I am blessed with the teammates' at Man City.

Manchester City reduced the gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal to three points with a victory against Southampton as the Gunners played out a 2-2 draw at Liverpool.

Man City star De Bruyne expressed his joy at registering 100 Premier League assists [GETTY]
Man City star De Bruyne expressed his joy at registering 100 Premier League assists [GETTY]

Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne says he is 'blessed with the teammates' he has at Manchester City after he amassed 100 Premier League assists on Saturday afternoon.

The Cityzens midfield maestro De Bruyne assisted striker Erling Haaland to open the scoring at the St Mary's Stadium as the reigning champions went on to beat Southampton 4-1, closing the gap on leaders Arsenal.

Haaland hit the target again with a superb bicycle kick after Jack Grealish scored the second and then Julian Alvarez scored a penalty to wrap up the win. Sékou Mara scored when City were already three goals up but the Saints remain bottom of the standings in a relegation battle.

Erling Haaland has reached 30 Premier League goals quicker than any player in the competition's history [30 goals in 27 games]. It was also the Norwegian's 44th goal in all competitions for City this season.

The victory means Pep Guardiola's side have now registered an eighth consecutive win in all competitions, giving them confidence ahead of their quarter-final clash against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

However, De Bruyne reacted to reaching 100 Premier League assists while speaking to BBC Sport after the game: "I am a creative player and try to create as much as possible. We scored a lot of goals in the eight years we have been here, I have been blessed with my teammates here. It is nice, maybe when I am done playing football it is something I will look back.

"Haaland's second goal you will never see me do that! You would get me to Southampton Hospital if I did that! Haaland is happy here, he knows we create a lot of chances and he does the rest.

"Grealish has been playing exceptional and the difference now is he has been having more goals and assists. He is exceptional."

'Haaland is on Ronaldo and Messi's level'

ManCity boss Guardiola added: "I give a lot of credit to Southampton. Their game plan was really, really good. Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition when you're not at your level. We were fortunate to be ahead at half-time. We had more physicality in the second half. We found the second goal after we won a dual and after it was easy."

Quizzed about Jack Grealish, who has continued to flourish following the Qatar World Cup, he asserted: "He has been really good. He had a big, big chance in the first minutes and it could have changed how we played in the first half, but sometimes you have to mature into the game and keep the focus. With the quality we have up front, it can make the difference."

On Haaland, the Spaniard said: "The second goal was amazing. It is not easy to pick the ball up in the sky and put it on the grass. His talent is really good. We need him. The first half was not our best level but he changed the game. As a top scorer, we lived two incredible decades with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi but he is on that level. He scores a lot of goals. I am very happy with 65 minutes after injury and he helped us again."

Guardiola also spoke about the energy Bernardo Silva brings to the team when coming off the bench: "He is fantastic and exceptional as a human being and football player. He is so important to us. He does that whether he plays 10 or 90 minutes."

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