Sergio Aguero turned in a remarkable goal-scoring performance by netting five times in 20 minutes as Manchester City came from behind to rout Newcastle United 6-1 on Saturday.
Only four other players in post-1992 Premier League history -- Andrew Cole, Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov -- had scored five times in one game and Aguero's display was all the more stunning as he had failed to find the net since a home win over Chelsea in August.
After cancelling out an effort from Aleksandar Mitrovic just before half-time, Aguero led a second-half assault on the Newcastle goal that was devastating in its attacking aggression and effectiveness.
When the dust subsided, City were back on top of the division, with Newcastle 15 points below them at the foot of the table.
Aguero opened his account in the 42nd minute as David Silva chipped to the far post, Fernandinho headed the ball back across goal and the City forward headed home powerfully from just inside the six-yard area.
Four minutes into the second half, Aguero put City in front for the first time on the afternoon, gathering a pass from David Silva and beating Tim Krul via a slight deflection off Yoan Gouffran.
Barely a minute later Aguero completed his hat-trick, in a time of under nine minutes that made it the fifth-fastest treble since the Premier League was founded.
De Bruyne's excellent through-ball exposed one of the increasingly glaring holes in the visiting back line and Aguero was not going to be denied with a finish that he lifted over the oncoming goalkeeper.
De Bruyne claimed the next goal in the 53rd minute, making it 4-1, to gain an individual reward for his endeavors.
A right-wing cross from substitute Jesus Navas found the Belgian on the corner of the six-yard box and a slightly mis-hit volley gave Krul no chance in the Newcastle goal.
The game was becoming an embarrassment, all Newcastle's hard work of the first half being spectacularly undone, and it was about to get worse.
On the hour, Aguero scored his fourth goal, and City's fifth, from another Silva assist, which gave him the time and space to steady himself and curl a perfectly-judged attempt into the bottom-right corner.
Mercifully for Steve McClaren's Newcastle, the scoring frenzy was about to end, but not before City had claimed their sixth goal and Aguero, inevitably, a fifth.
De Bruyne created the opening with a low cross from the left flank and Aguero slid the ball home.
There had been no indication of the drama to come as City struggled during a first half in which they fell behind to McClaren's team, who were looking to build upon a battling draw with Chelsea on their previous outing.
In the 18th minute, Kevin Mbabu's left-wing cross found its way to Georginio Wijnaldum, who turned the ball back into the area for Mitrovic to head in from eight yards.
There were other chances for the visitors and Joe Hart was forced to save well at the feet of Mitrovic after 27 minutes, which was to prove a key moment in the outcome of the match.
Aguero was taken off to a hero's reception shortly after his fifth goal and City could have added more to the rout as the minutes ticked away.
De Bruyne curled a shot just wide and substitute Kelechi Iheancho had an effort punched away acrobatically by Krul as Newcastle endured another miserable afternoon and their wait for a first win of the season continued.