Pep Guardiola paid his own special tribute to centurion Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgian’s brace saw him chalk up his 100th City career goal in our 4-2 win at Crystal Palace, declaring: ‘Players like Kevin make this game easy’.

In what was a tough and demanding Premier League test at Selhurst Park, De Bruyne was at his brilliant, inspirational best in inspiring City to another crucial three points.

After having fallen behind to Jean-Philippe Mateta’s early strike, a stunning trademark KDB rocket quickly got City back on level terms.

And once Rico Lewis and Erling Haaland – via a brilliant KDB assist - had scored to fire City ahead after the break, De Bruyne then took centre stage again to register his 100th career goal for the Club.

This latest win moved City up level with leaders Liverpool on 70 points but with the Anfield side enjoying a slightly better goal difference.

Though sub Odsonne Edouard struck late on for Palace, this was a real statement of intent from the champions.

And Guardiola was quick to highlight the crucial role played by our Belgian talisman both today specifically and across the arc of his storied City career.

“Without him we would not be able to win this. You talk about managers but players like Kevin make this game easy,” Guardiola declared.

“He has been one of the best players in the history of City.

“To sustain this for nine years at City, and have that consistency is amazing. The first goal is unbelievable. The assist is unbelievable. Really good.

“Mentally for sure [Kevin is fresh]. Kevin is like everyone, on the bus in the locker room and laugh.

“The body language dictates a lot how he is. All the players, especially Kevin, hopefully they can sustain it.

“100 goals is a lot and a lot of assists too. Really good.

“We were not solid like normally in terms of defensively and on the transition, that’s how we gave away the first goal.

“[Playing] Three days, three days, three days. We had the mental energy. It’s more than physicality, it’s demanding.

“Sometimes it’s Phil, Erling or Julian, today it was Kevin.”