MANCHESTER, England -- Pep Guardiola said Kevin De Bruyne is among the best players he has managed after he helped Manchester City to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth.
De Bruyne scored a 15th-minute opener from a free kick in a blistering victory at the Etihad and set up the fourth with an exquisite pass for Ilkay Gundogan to finish on his Premier League debut. In between, Kelechi Iheanacho and Raheem Sterling scored either side of half-time as top-of-the-table City maintained their 100 percent record with eight wins out of eight in all competitons.
Guardiola said Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the only player he has worked with who is significantly better than the Belgian, telling a news conference: "I think he is a special player -- an outstanding player.
"He makes everything. Without the ball he's the first fighter, and with the ball it's clear he sees absolutely everything. He decides what he has to do in the right moment every single time.
"Sometimes you have to pass with the first touch, sometimes you have to control. Sometimes you have to attack the ball. Every time he makes the right decision.
"I am lucky, we are happy. Hopefully he can enjoy with us to play his amazing football.
"He is one of [the best players I have managed]. Messi can sit alone in the table, it's not allowed anyone else, but in the table beside, Kevin can sit there, there's no doubt."