Manchester City 5-0 Burnley: Pep Guardiola’s side hammer Clarets in scintillating attacking display as Kevin De Bruyne makes comeback from injury
- Manchester City broke the deadlock through Sergio Aguero as he fired home David Silva’s delivery in the box
- Burnley finished the first half with just 26 per cent possession as Pep Guardiola’s side took full control
- Bernardo Silva then doubled the advantage after the break as Burnley switched off at the back for a moment
- The Premier League champions added a third moments later with Fernandinho getting on the scoresheet
- Riyad Mahrez then scored a sublime fourth as he cut inside and smashed curling effort into the top corner
- Leroy Sane put the icing on the cake in the 90th minute, sweeping in Benjamin Mendy’s low cross
Manchester City don’t need any help to destroy most teams. When their opponents and the match officials both switch off, they are utterly ruthless.
There is an argument that Pep’s all-stars are even better than last season. Five different players scored against Burnley and they are on course to break last year’s Premier League goals record.
At the other end, a miserly defence have conceded only three goals in nine games. Guardiola was even praising the ground staff after another emphatic win. ‘Thanks to the greenkeepers for the grass in perfect condition that helps us to play quicker,’ he purred.
Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock for Manchester City as the hosts made their dominant start pay on the scoresheet
Bernardo Silva netted the second and toasted his sharp thinking and finishing with a strange telescope celebration
Fernaninho put the game to bed as he curled into the top corner to put his side three goals to the good at the Etihad Stadium
In familiar surroundings, Clarets stopper Joe Hart was forced to pick the ball out of his net five times on Saturday afternoon
MATCH FACTS, RATINGS, TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
Man City (4-3-3): Ederson 6; Stones 6, Kompany 7, Laporte 7.5, Mendy 6.5; B Silva 6.5 (De Bruyne 58 6), Fernandinho 7, D Silva 8 (Foden 75 6); Mahrez 6.5, Aguero 7 (Jesus 66 6), Sane 6.5
Subs not used: Munic, Sterling, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Foden
Goals: Aguero 17, B Silva 54, Fernandinho 56, Mahrez 83, Sane 90
Booked: Kompany, Sane
Burnley (4-4-1-1): Hart 7; Lowton 7, Tarkowski 6, Mee 5.5, Taylor 6; Lennon 5.5 (Westwood 69 6), Cork 5, Defour 6 (Barnes 75 5.5), Gudmundsson 6; Hendrick 5.5, Vokes 6 (Wood 69 6)
Subs: Heaton, Bardsley, Vydra, Long
Booked: Cork, Hendrick
Referee: Jonathan Moss 7
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Manchester City put together a brilliant team move before Riyad Mahrez scored his goal. Click here for more from our brilliant Matchzone.
And yet Burnley will point to one of the strangest goals of the season, City’s second after 54 minutes, that spoiled their afternoon, and that of goalkeeper Joe Hart back at his former club.
Burnley had manfully restricted the scoreline to 1-0 when Jack Cork challenged Leroy Sane in the box and the German winger went down.
Everyone stopped playing as referee Jonathan Moss assessed the situation with Burnley protesting it was a dive. Except Mr Moss didn’t award a penalty and the quick-thinking David Silva raced to the byline to pull the ball back for Bernardo Silva to fire home.
Two minutes later, Fernandinho had added a third goal and City were home and dry, and relaxed enough to send on Kevin De Bruyne as substitute for his first action since August.
Burnley were guilty of not playing to the whistle for Bernardo’s goal but they were also adamant the ball had crossed the line before David Silva fed him.
‘Sane goes down with the tiniest of touches. The ref is going to blow his whistle and then doesn’t. Then a player off the pitch goes onto the pitch and kicks the ball from off the pitch.’The best view we can get of it is the ball is out of play.’ fumed Dyche.
Prolific striker Aguero fired past Hart and looked his usual sharp self as he made no mistake from David Silva’s ball
City enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and made it tell against Burnley’s stubborn defence at the Etihad on Saturday
Silva took advantage of Burnley switching off and converted as the visitors protested to the referee about a decision
The Portugal international doubled the lead for Manchester City and they looked a class apart from the opposition
Brazilian Fernandinho showed excellent composure to set himself and slot past Hart from the edge of the penalty area
Hart, who played 348 games for City, implied the officials accepted they’d got it wrong. ‘The linesman apologised for switching off but that’s huge. It is hard to take.’
Even so, Burnley players ignored the first rule of football taught from a young age. ‘I told my players to play through the moment and then remonstrate afterwards,’ added Dyce.
Whether the odd second goal will have changed the final outcome is doubtful.. Guardiola is building a fortress at The Etihad. His side have won every home Premier League game this season and 17 of 19 last season.
Most impressive is that the goals are being shared around. ‘That’s important, less pressure on Sergio,’ noted Guardiola.
It was Aguero though who opened the scoring after 17 minutes. The Argentine had already been brilliantly denied by Hart when he converted David Silva’s fizzed low cross from eight yards for his 16th goal at the Etihad from his last 12 Premier League games.
Riyad Mahrez showed some nice touches and capped off his impressive display with a wonderful goal for the home side
The Algerian has added yet more depth to City’s attacking resources and played his part in the rout of Burnley
Leroy Sane turned in Benjamin Mendy’s low delivery as Hart was beaten for the fifth time in the match on his return
Hart endured a tough afternoon at the office as the visitors came under massive pressure time and time again from City
Kevin De Bruyne made his long-awaited return to action as Pep Guardiola brought the Belgian on in the second half
Sane was back in the starting XI, having worked hard to turn his early season form around in recent weeks for City
Mendy was on the end of a heavy challenge from Burnley forward Sam Vokes and spent some time recovering on the ground
He was then able to take a back seat as his team-mates helped themselves, though he will have been disappointed to fire wide after Hart’s brilliant parry to stop David Silva’s header fell to him four yards from goal.
Instead, Bernardo belted number two as Burnley hesitated and in City’s next attack Fernandinho scored from the edge of the box after Ben Mee had half-cleared Leroy Sane’s corner.
It was game over and Guardiola was able to bring off Aguero and the two Silvas with Tuesday’s Champions League game away to Shakhtar Donetsk in mind.
There was no let up for Burnley though. City’s £60million record signing Riyad Mahrez curled number four into the top corner, and Sane completed the rout by sidefooting Benjamin Mendy’s cross in injury-time.
Dyche, who was thoroughly fed up by that stage, though Sane shouldn’t have even been on the pitch by that stage for a hack at Matt Lowton. ‘Unacceptable in everyone’s view,’ said the Burnley manager who also thought Vincent Kompany fortunate to escape with a yellow for a challenge on Aaron Lennon in the opening minute. ‘Out of control,’ he claimed.
The medical staff checked out the Frenchman’s ribs after he landed awkwardly on the turf and needed to take a moment
Vincent Kompany loses his balance as he attempts to control the ball and comically falls to the turf whilst chesting it
Guardiola refused to be drawn into a war of words over the comments. He is simply content to see his work over three years at City reach new heights, both defensively and offensively. They are top of the table again, unbeaten so far in the league.
‘We didn’t concede again, one shot on target for them, and that is a good point from our side,’ he said. ‘All the players made a good performance, especially John (Stones), playing in a position that is not natural for him (right-back).
‘In my experience it can take a little bit of time to settle in the first game after the international break but in the second half we were solid in our build-up and Kevin helped us make another step, another rhythm. Everyone was at a high level.’
An hour after the final whistle, Hart was back on the Etihad pitch he graced 348 times for City, for a nostalgic look around the ground and a little kickabout with his young son.
He had a training pitched named in his honour by City last week. He now knows first-hand his old team are getting stronger and stronger.
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