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Five Things Learned: Manchester City 3-1 Burnley (Premier League)



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Manchester City romped to a comprehensive Premier League victory over Burnley on Wednesday night to maintain their 100 per cent start to 2024.

After a quiet opening 15 minutes, Pep Guardiola’s side surged into the lead through a neat header from Julian Alvarez. Matheus Nunes bided his time in the box and waited for the right opportunity to chip in a cross, finding the Argentine unmarked a few yards out to head home.

Alvarez smelt blood and added a second goal for himself and his team just minutes after breaking the deadlock. A sumptuous ball from midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne set up his Argentine teammate for a clever finish to double Manchester City’s advantage.

The home side tried to add to their lead as the half went on but could not find the net again, going into the break two to the good. It did not take City long to add to their lead in the second half however, as Rodri scored an incredibly similar goal to his UEFA Champions League final winner last season to make it three.

Erling Haaland made his return to action after 10 matches missed through injury, replacing Kevin De Bruyne with a third of the half to go. Pep Guardiola then made another change swapping one England international for another as Phil Foden was taken off for Jack Grealish.

Goalscorers Rodri and Julian Alvarez were then replaced by Mateo Kovacic and Sergio Gomez as Manchester City looked to see out a comfortable win. Burnley added a late consolation through Ameen Al-Dakhil’s tap-in but it was a case of too little, too late for Vincent Kompany’s side to take anything away from the game.

Here are Five Things We Learned from Manchester City’s midweek victory over the Clarets!

Relentlessly rampant City

Manchester City have been a different beast since their disappointing draw with Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium in mid December. Since letting that two-goal lead slip, City have been on a winning run of eight matches, seeing them rattle in the goals along the way.

This has helped City claim the FIFA Club World Cup, advance in the FA Cup and regain ground in the Premier League title race after falling off the pace in early December. Pep Guardiola’s side once again showed on Wednesday night that they are here to emphatically defend all three titles won from last season’s iconic Treble.

Haaland returns to action

Manchester City have been desperately unlucky with injuries this season, notably losing star player Kevin De Bruyne on the campaign’s opening day. Before Christmas Pep Guardiola also lost top goalscorer Erling Haaland through injury too with the Norwegian side-lined for several important games.

The powerhouse striker made his long-awaited return against Burnley on Wednesday night and his cameo will likely mark a turning point in the season. Having any player back from an injury as long as Haaland’s feels like a new signing but one of his quality feels like winning the lottery.

Alvarez sends reminder

Erling Haaland broke almost every single scoring record there was last year, somewhat overshadowing a fabulous first year for fellow Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez.

After being side-lined with an injury for several weeks, the Norwegian superstar has seen his starting spot taken on by Alvarez. The Argentine has led the line well, often notching goals with each opportunity presented to him and he did so once more on Wednesday evening.

Haaland may have returned on the night, but Alvarez was quick to remind everyone at the Etihad Stadium just how vital he has been in the Norwegian’s absence.

Burnley battered again

Burnley really must hate visiting the Etihad Stadium so it is lucky enough that the trip home is hardly the longest. The Clarets are regularly battered during their away games at Manchester City with the Citizens more often than not scoring multiple goals.

This had seen a run of 12 wins in a row for the sky blue side with them being unbeaten in as many as 17 games. Wednesday night’s encounter was no different and saw City once again romp to victory leaving Kompany’ s side to further sweat over their future in the division.

Rodri blasts Clarets again

As if smashing Burnley once again was not already enough, Manchester City turned the knife in with the style of their victory.

Rodri is revered as one of Pep Guardiola’s most important players and this is highlighted given City’s losses when the Spaniard is missing from the squad. Alongside his fantastic composure and control in matches, the midfielder also has a habit of scoring against Burnley.

Having already netted two times versus the Clarets since his move to the Etihad Stadium in 2019, and he once again scored on Wednesday, rubbing salt in the wounds.