🏆 FA Cup Player of the QFs - Present for a birthday boy

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Alex Mott

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The four pre-match favourites made it a weekend without any upsets in the FA Cup.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have all made it to the semi-finals.

But which single performance impressed us most?

Kevin de Bruyne

It was about as one-sided a 2-0 win as you’re ever likely to see.

Manchester City went to St James’ Park on Sunday and didn’t just beat Newcastle but pulverised them into submission.

An astonishing stat after 27 minutes showed that City had completed 188 passes to Newcastle’s…15.

It was death by short passing and was down in large part to the brilliance of Kevin de Bruyne.

The Belgian maestro was at the heart of everything Pep Guardiola’s did in the north east and continued to cement his reputation as one of the very best midfielders anywhere in the world.

Liverpool may have romped to the Premier League title but City are well on their way to completing a potential Cup treble – League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League.

And you can make a very compelling case to say that, right now, De Bruyne is the best player in England.

His passing, his vision, his awareness of the game, his decision-making and his telepathic understanding with his team mates is almost second-to-none.

It was his penalty that gave Guardiola’s men the lead in the first half and saw De Bruyne become the first City player to be directly involved in 30 goals for the season.

On the day he turned 29, it was a great way to celebrate and now sees the former Wolfsburg man enter his absolute prime.

That should be a tantalising prospect for any fan of the Etihad side, especially with a Champions League clash with Real Madrid on the horizon.