De Bruyne Back with a Bang as Man City Crush Huddersfield 5-0 in FA Cup Romp.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne marked his much-anticipated comeback as the FA Cup holders dominated Huddersfield 5-0 in the third round on Sunday.
The Belgian midfielder had been sidelined since injuring his hamstring during City’s Premier League opener against Burnley in August.
De Bruyne finally reentered the action as a substitute in the 57th minute at the Etihad Stadium, amidst resounding chants of ‘Oh Kevin De Bruyne’ echoing around the stands.
Pep Guardiola’s squad was already leading through goals from Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez when De Bruyne stepped onto the pitch.
His return bolstered City’s momentum as they netted three more goals via Ben Jackson’s own goal, another Foden strike, and a Jeremy Doku effort upon his return from injury as a second-half substitute.
Doku’s goal, in particular, was set up by a deft lofted pass from the returning De Bruyne.
While City has managed well without De Bruyne, his world-class quality in midfield will undoubtedly be crucial as they aim to defend their Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup titles.
Having secured five major trophies in 2023, City’s aspirations for more silverware in the new year have been set in motion, starting with their comfortable advancement in the FA Cup.
Although not as devastating as their legendary 1987 10-1 victory against Huddersfield, City’s superiority in this match was never in question despite the absence of Rodri due to his grandmother’s passing and the injured Erling Haaland.
Foden opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, squeezing in a shot at the near post after Alvarez’s effort was blocked.
Alvarez then secured City’s second goal, stretching to tap in Rico Lewis’s pass from close-range just four minutes later.
De Bruyne’s entrance coincided with Oscar Bobb’s deflected shot, contributing to City’s third goal moments after his appearance.
Foden struck again in the 65th minute with a clinical low strike from 20 yards, and Belgium winger Doku wrapped up the demolition in the 74th minute with a first-time finish off De Bruyne’s sublime pass.
While City cruised, other Premier League sides faced tougher challenges. Luton Town was held to a goalless draw by Bolton Wanderers, while Nottingham Forest managed to salvage a 2-2 draw against Blackpool after initially falling two goals behind.
West Ham United also faced a setback, being held to a 1-1 draw by Bristol City at the London Stadium. Jarrod Bowen put West Ham ahead early, but Tommy Conway’s strike leveled the score for Bristol City.