Julian Alvarez grabbed a brace on his birthday as Manchester City continue to push Liverpool for top spot in the Premier League table.
It was another dominant performance again for Pep Guardiola, as Manchester City are now unbeaten in their last 11 games.
City took control from the start of the match, and grabbed the lead in the 16th minute when Julian Alvarez headed home Matheus Nunes’ cross. The goal was set-up by a long ball over the top of the defence by Phil Foden.
Six minutes later, Manchester City were able to double their lead off of a well-worked set piece that looked straight off the training pitch. Kevin De Bruyne played a through-ball in to Alvarez, who beat his man to poke it in first time. Pep Guardiola personally congratulated a member of City’s backroom staff for his work on the routine.
After quickly conceding the second goal, Burnley finally responded and began to launch a few decent attacks into the Manchester City zone. However, they still finished the first half without a shot on target.
Despite a decent response at the end of the first half, Manchester City only needed 26 seconds to grab their third goal as Rodri found the back of the net on the first attack of the second half. It was a trademark goal from the Spaniard set-up by Foden, with Rodri curling it in from just outside the box. Kevin De Bruyne set up the attack was an excellent ball in behind the Burnley defence to set up Foden.
Burnley’s best chance to get back into the match came in the 51st minute when Zeki Amdouni got in behind the Manchester City defence, but his shot was poorly taken and skied over the bar.
After missing 10 games due to a foot injury, Erling Halaand was brought on in the 71st minute replacing Kevin De Bruyne. As the game began to draw to an end Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic and Sergio Gomez were brought on for Foden, Alvarez and Rodri.
While the performance deserved a clean sheet, Burnley were able to nip a goal back in stoppage time when David Datro Fofana stormed past Josko Gvardiol to set up Ameen Al-Dakhil for a tap-in.
Following the win, Manchester City still trail Liverpool by five points, albeit with a game in hand.
Ederson – 7
The Brazilian was not called on much, and maybe could have done better for the late Burnley goal. But overall, it was far from a poor performance.
Rico Lewis – 7
A typical Rico Lewis match: drew a few fouls and was smooth on the ball.
John Stones – 7.5
Solid performance in his first match in over a month. Was not needed in the midfield due to Rico Lewis.
Nathan Ake – 7.5
Mistake-free football and good distribution. In other words, what you expect from Nathan Ake.
Josko Gvardiol – 8
Phenomenal on the ball as always, and stepped up defensively as well until the closing moments. Excited to see when Pep Guardiola lets him try out the ‘John Stones role’.
Rodri – 8.5
Had the most touches in the game, was vital in switching play and scored another absolutely beautiful goal. Seems to be back on track after some shaky performances during the winter period.
Matheus Nunes – 8
Don’t know how often he’s going to get minutes this season, but his ability to carry the ball forward os so far above and beyond any of the other central midfielders in the squad. Special player.
Phil Foden – 7.5
Was a quiet night at times, but he set up the first goal and assisted the second. Hope we can see him play centrally alongside Kevin De Bruyne soon.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8.5
So much for all that talk about Kevin De Bruyne needing time to get up to speed after an injury, right? Has been world class since the moment he came out against Newcastle. Doesn’t even seem to have lost a bit of pace either considering the injury.
Jeremy Doku – 8
Was an absolute menace all night. Vitinho looked helpless trying to mark him, still needs to improve his decision making with the final ball but that will come in time.
Julian Alvarez – 8.5 (MOTM)
Hasn’t had the best service at times this season but took full advantage of the two chances created for him in the first half. Was solid in the build-up as well.
Erling Haaland – N/A
Jack Grealish – N/A
Mateo Kovacic – N/A
Sergio Gomez – N/A
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