With the Premier League returning from the international break this weekend, Manchester City faced a Burnley side who were on a good run of form; unbeaten in three and netting a fair few goals. City’s last outing was a subdued performance at Anfield against rivals Liverpool, where neither team wanted to risk losing points and settled for a 0-0 draw. Despite their good form, Burnley’s unbeaten run wasn’t to last as City were miles ahead of them, and by the end of the 90 minutes, it was almost starting to look like shooting practice.
City Cause Hartache for Burnley
Joe Hart returned to the Etihad for the first time as an opposing player and received a warm welcome from City fans and ex-colleagues alike. However, poor Joe stood no chance against his former club. No matter how many saves he made, the defence in front of him were weak and there was not a lot he could do to keep some of those stellar shots out of the net.
City played Burnley off the park and in total had a massive 24 shots, 10 on target and five kept out by Hart. Without him in goal, the goal tally could have been much bigger. Burnley only had five shots all game, none of which were on target meaning Ederson had an easy day at the office.
Dominating 69% of the possession and making 679 passes with 88% accuracy, as opposed to Burnley who only made 302 passes with 75% accuracy, City were outstanding. This could easily have been mistaken for a practise match, with City’s pressure barely letting up and the sheer class of the goals making it look all too easy for the sky blues.
There was some controversy surrounding City’s second goal. Sane had been bought down in the box and play seemed to stop as City appealed for a penalty. The referee gestured no and just when it seemed that the ball was rolling out of play, David Silva picked it up and crossed it to Bernando Silva who put it in the net. The Burnley players were not happy and protested to the referee, but play had been waved on and the ball hadn’t gone out of play so the goal stood.
The Return of Kevin De Bruyne
Around the hour mark, Kevin De Bruyne was welcomed back to the Etihad after two months out due to injury. Already three goals up, and heading for the win, De Bruyne didn’t have much to do but still got stuck in.
I think it’s safe to say that his vision and incredible passing skills were welcomed back with open arms, he had 86% passing accuracy, attempted four long balls and made one cross. He didn’t have to make any tackles and looked more than comfortable being back in action. A solid comeback for the Belgian and hopefully we’ll see him grace the pitch again in the Champions League tomorrow night.
An excellent performance from City to keep them at the top of the table and unbeaten in 9 matches. Burnley stood no chance against this well organised and high-pressure City squad who had their shooting boots on. Their next match is tomorrow night away to Shakhtar in the Champions League and if Saturday’s performance is anything to go by, we should be expecting an interesting match with plenty of goals.