De Bruyne sets Euro 2020 qualifier record for assists
The Belgium star achieved the feat in Monday’s game against Scotland at Hampden Park, and he got his side on their way inside of 10 minutes. De Bruyne found Romelu Lukaku in the ninth minute, and the Inter striker cooly slotted home to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Though Lukaku is still just 26, it was the 49th international goal for a player who is already his country’s all-time leading scorer. De Bruyne grabbed his second assist in the 24th minute with a quality cross that found the head of Thomas Vermaelen.
For Vermaelen, it was just his second international goal, and it came nine years after he scored his first. De Bruyne would help Belgium put the game away just eight minutes later as his corner was headed home by Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld.
De Bruyne wasn’t done there, however, as the Manchester City star rounded off his night with a superb goal of his own in the 82nd minute.
Belgium would go on to win the match 4-0, continuing the country’s perfect start to qualification. Roberto Martinez’s side have now won all six of their qualifying matches thus far. Meanwhile, Scotland have now won just one of their last 14 games against Belgium (W1 D2 L11), with the last win coming in October 1987 in a Euro 1988 qualifier.
De Bruyne has particularly enjoyed playing against Scotland in his career, as the midfielder has been directly involved in seven goals in just four games versus the Scots (two goals, five assists). Monday continued a strong start to the new season for De Bruyne, who suffered through an injury-plagued 2018-19 campaign for club and country.
The 28-year-old managed just two goals and two assists in 19 Premier League appearances last term, though City did manage to retain their title as league champions. But De Bruyne appears back to his best in 2019-20, having already recorded one goal and five assists in City’s first four Premier League matches this season.
Overall, De Bruyne has tallied eight assists in his last six appearances in all competitions. De Bruyne will return to action with Man City this weekend, when the defending Premier League champions take on Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon.