Manchester City 5, Burnley 0
Riyad Mahrez hit a hat trick and Benjamin Mendy and Ferran Torres also scored as Manchester City thrashed Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad again.Embed from Getty Images
Mahrez became only the second African to score a Premier League hat trick for Manchester City after a Yaya Toure treble for the club.
It was the first time that City had scored more than once in the Premier League since September 27th and Mahrez’ first hat trick since notching one for Leicester City against Swansea in December 2015.
It was also a fourth straight 5-0 win over Burnley at the Etihad who will be sick of the sight of Manchester City after their latest drubbing as City ended their goal drought in style – hitting 5 goals from 6 shots on target out of 19 in total whereas Burnley only registered their 9 shots on goal in the second half and only troubled Ederson for a save once.
And City became only the second side in Football League history to win four successive home games by five or more goals against a single opponent in all competitions, after Notts County vs Port Vale between October 1893 and February 1907.
City moved into the top half of the table, to 8th place after the convincing win over Burnley at the start of a promising run of games to include Fulham, West Brom, and Newcastle United.
Pep Guardiola agreed that City had returned to their goal scoring form but warned about the frequency of games potentially leaving players jaded, saying:
“We played a lot of games, to maintain 90 minutes at a good level is not easy.
“There are always things to improve.”
He was pleased for Benjamin Mendy’s first goal for the club but also insisted that he had to keep his players fresh, adding:
“It’s important for our people to score goals, to keep playing in the team.
“With too many games people can lose the enjoyment of playing football.
“We need a draw or win to qualify first [in the Champions League group] and then we have to prepare for Fulham.”
And he added that Sergio Aguero’s absence from the match day squad was precautionary after swelling of the knee but City have to be careful to bring back the striker only when ready.
He explained: “It’s not dangerous, hopefully tomorrow he can come back to training.”
Guardiola made four changes to his Manchester City squad to play Burnley, with John Stones kept his place in the side from the win over Olympiacos, but Aguero was not named in the match day squad to protect his knee.
Ferran Torres, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, and Kyle Walker were restored to the starting line-up while Joao Cancelo, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva were named on the bench for the first match since January in which City had kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday.
Burnley handed debuts to Bailey Peacock-Farrell, after a concussion to Nick Pope, and Josh Benson – and named three forwards in their starting line-up.
There was a minute’s applause for Diego Maradona, the Argentine legend (who was grandfather to Aguero’s son Benjamin), died this week.
And Mahrez put City into the lead after just six minutes after Burnley’s aggressive start.
He shrugged off an early reducer to put City into the lead, curling the ball around the Burnley keeper from 14 yards out after Kevin De Bruyne slipped the ball to him at the end of an incisive counter attack after James Tarkowski lost the ball in the sixth minute.
Mahrez doubled the lead after 22 minutes after escaping the attentions of Ben Mee and rounding Tarkowski to stroke the ball in off the back post from Kyle Walker’s throw-in.
City were cruising and De Bruyne forced Peacock-Farrell to backpedal and tip it over the bar.
From the corner Jesus thought he had scored City’s third goal but Ferran Torres was rightly penalised for offside after the Brazilian’s header took a wicked deflection off his Spanish team mate to make the ball loop in beyond the Burnley keeper.
Burnley predictably only threatened from set pieces but couldn’t force Ederson to make a save.
And City made it 3-0 in the 41st minute on another fast break when De Bruyne had pretty of space to cross to Mendy who was arriving on the left flank – the Frenchman volleyed the shot inside the back post from from wide on the left to notch his first goal for the club.
Jesus fired over after he had skipped past Mee but was greedy and went for goal with team mates waiting for a cross just before half time.
With the game looking safe Fernandinho came on for the second half in place of Rodri.
Mahrez, De Bruyne, and Jesus both went wide with shots in the second half as City looked to score four goals in a match of the first time this season.
Burnley won a free kick on the edge of the box after Ederson had saved from Jay Rodriguez – virtually his first action of the match after an hour – and Ashley Westwood was fouled looking for the rebound.
Benson’s free kick took a deflection off Ruben Dias to win a corner as the Clarets briefly looked like they might pull a goal back.
City had their fourth after 66 minutes when Ferran Torres reacted coolly to hit City’s fourth goal. Mahrez’s cross was touched into the path of Torres by Jesus and the Spaniard side footed it home from 11 yards out.
Riyad Mahrez header seals his first hat trick for Manchester City
And three minutes later Mahrez had his hat trick. A sumptuous sweeping cross by De Bruyne was crossed back into the area by Phil Foden with his first touch of the ball 93 seconds after coming on as a sub to find the Algerian who headed City’s fifth.
It was only his fourth goal of the season for a player who had not scored since the defeat to Leicester City in September.
Peacock-Farrell was spared the blushes of an own goal after he put the ball through his own net after a deflection off his own knee while saving from Jesus who was just offside according to VAR when De Bruyne put in his cross.
Burnley did pose some questions in the second half but City went closest to another goal when they hit the post through a fierce shot by De Bruyne as they ended the game comfortably on top.
GOALS – Manchester City 5, Burnley 0
Man City 1, Burnley 0: 6. Riyad Mahrez curled the ball round Bail Peacock-Farrell after Kevin De Bruyne slipped the ball to him at the end of a quick Man City break
Man City 2, Burnley 0: 22. Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead after skipping past Ben Mee and evading James Tarkowski to make space to turn the ball in off the back post with another left footed shot from 8 yards out.
Man City 3, Burnley 0: 41. Benjamin Mendy volleyed home his first goal for City from an acute angle on the left after Kevin De Bruyne picked him out with a deep cross from the right.
Man City 4, Burnley 0: 66. Ferran Torres reacted to hit City’s fourth goal. Riyad Mahrez’s cross was touched into the path of Torres by Gabriel Jesus and the Spaniard side footed it home from 11 yards out.
Man City 5, Burnley 0: 69. A sumptuous sweeping cross by Kevin De Bruyne from the right was sent back into the area by Phil Foden with his first touch of the ball since coming on as a sub to find the Algerian who headed City’s fifth from close range.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City 5, Burnley 0
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias (Garcia 70), Mendy, Rodri (Fernandinho 46), Gundogan, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Torres (Foden 67), Jesus
Man City Subs not used: Steffen, Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Cancelo
Goals: Mahrez 6, 22, 69; Mendy 41; Torres 66
Burnley: Peacock-Farrell, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Rodriguez, Westwood, Benson, Barnes (Vydra 81), McNeil, Wood (Pieters 67)
Burnley subs not used: Gudmundsson, Norris, Long, Dunne, Goodridge
Referee: Lee Mason