The Belgian started the move that led to his side’s opener, and finished it too, running on to Bernardo Silva’s pass to slot home.
This was De Bruyne’s stage, however, and he quickly put his side back in front. Again, he played a part in the build-up too, and was in the right place to smash in the rebound after Jose Sa beat Raheem Sterling to his pass.
His third goal – again with his so-called weaker left foot – was the pick of the bunch, and saw him drive towards the edge of the area and curl into the bottom corner.
De Bruyne hat-trick was his first for City and in 24 minutes was the third-quickest in Premier League history.
He celebrated in style by copying the meditation celebration of his soon-to-be team-mate Erling Haaland, who City reached an agreement to sign this week, but he was not finished yet.
City came out for the second half looking for more goals to improve their goal difference, which was already three better than Liverpool’s before kick-off.
More chances followed, with Foden hitting the post and Sterling missing an easy chance but eventually someone else did get in on the act, with Sterling tapping into an empty net after Sa denied Joao Cancelo.