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De Bruyne shows versatility in Belgian goal fest

Kevin De Bruyne demonstrated his adaptability in Belgium’s 8-1 thrashing of Estonia on Sunday night.

Playing in the centre of midfield in Roberto Martinez’s chosen 3-4-3 system, De Bruyne dictated much of the match.

Due to his deeper role, City’s star was able to control the tempo with his wide range of passing whilst often utilising the option to burst forward to create opportunities for his teammates.

His performance even drew glowing praise from Martinez, who stated: “De Bruyne was outstanding again. Kevin is smart and played really well alongside Axel Witsel in midfield.

“He played the No8 role against Spain, more of a No6 role today, and as a No9 against the Netherlands. Kevin can do it all.”

Is De Bruyne City's Player of the Season so far? Our writers have their say!

It was his set pieces that initially caused havoc for the Estonia defence as his corners and free-kicks led to headed chances for the likes of Axel Witsel and Romelu Lukaku.

With Belgium 1-0 up, De Bruyne tried something different as he rolled an advanced, wide free-kick across the 18-yard line for Dries Mertens to fire home.

The 25-year-old continued to dominate and had a major role to play in both the fifth and seventh goals. After setting up Mertens' deflected strike, he played an incisive pass for wing-back Thomas Meunier to cross to Lukaku who converted.

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Having sat out of Wednesday’s friendly with the Netherlands, Vincent Kompany was not involved for the Red Devils, who have now moved top of Group I.

Looking ahead to Monday night’s matches, Angus Gunn’s England U21s will play their French counterparts in a friendly.

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