Manchester City 6-0 Burnley: Erling Haaland nets ANOTHER hat-trick
Manchester City 6-0 Burnley: Erling Haaland nets ANOTHER hat-trick as Pep Guardiola’s dominant side cruise into the semi-finals of the FA Cup and ensure it is a nightmare return to the Etihad for City legend Vincent Kompany
- Man City are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup after comfortable win over Burnley
- Erling Haaland now has 42 goals this season after scoring another hat-trick
- Julian Alvarez got a brace for the hosts with Cole Palmer also on the scoresheet
Vincent Kompany had been telling us all week to ignore Pep Guardiola’s bouquets, the Catalan’s siren voice intimating that the Burnley manager was such a talent he would inevitably be coaching Manchester City sooner or later.
Kompnay appreciated it was all too much, too young, suspecting it might be a case of being drowned in praise before being forced scrambling for the lifeboats.
After all, Kompany has been in enough Manchester City sides and seen off enough pretenders at the Etihad to know what was likely to be in store.
But then Burnley are a phenomenon in The Championship, running away with the league and as such this felt like an intriguing contest with the added twist of apprentice Kompany taking on his master Guardiola.
Craig Bellamy, Kompany’s assistant had suggested prior to the match that they should erect a statue of Johan Cruyff, Guardiola’s mentor, at Burnley’s training ground so great has been his influence on their playing style.
Manchester City are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup after comfortable win over Burnley
Erling Haaland took his tally for the season to 42 after scoring another hat-trick
Burnley boss and City legend Vincent Kompany endured a nightmare return to the Etihad
And when Burnley, the last bastion of English football, have surrendered to the Guardiola way of playing it feels it has the significance of the Fall of Constantinople.
Kompany looked the part sartorially: skinny black suit, white T-shirt and baseball cap is quite the Euro-coach look. Indeed, he shared an embrace with Guardiola before the game and was warmly received by the Etihad like it was home from home.
Man City (3-2-4-1): Ortega, Dias, Walker, Laporte, Rodri (Phillips 66′), Alvarez, De Bruyne (Grealish 89′), Lewis (Gomez 66′), Foden, Haaland (Palmer 63′), Mahrez
Unused subs: Stones, Ake, Gundogan, Ederson
Goalscorers: Haaland (32, 35, 59), Alvarez (62, 73) Palmer (68)
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Burnley (4-2-3-1): Peacock-Farrell, Roberts, Al Dakhil, Beyer, Maatsen (Taylor 77′), Cullen, Gudmundsson (Cork 45′), Tella (Obafemi 64′), Da Silva (Bastien 77′), Zaroury, Foster (Barnes 45′)
Unused subs: Twine, Manuel, Dervisoglu, Muric
Manager: Vincent Kompany
Referee: John Brooks
The twist was that he played a version of 4-4-2 here though not as you or Sean Dyche would know it, with full backs pushing into midfield and wingers helping out when the centre backs pushed into attacking creative positions.
And for 32 minutes his team looked quite the part as well, matching City for quirky, positional set ups and off-the-ball runs and even producing dangerous moment when Nathan Tella forced Stefan Ortgea into a sharp save. And when Jordan Beyer slipped in a lovely ball for Tella on 28 minutes and it took a superb Ruben Dias tackle to save the day.
And then they ran into the monster that is Erling Haaland. No shame in submitting to him. Not many tactical plans survive contact with the Norwegian. After all, one of the Bundesliga’s finest had capitulated earlier in the week, conceding seven. As such. Burnley can feel pleased they did better than RB Leipzig.
Here Haaland took his total for the week to nine goals and 42 for the season. Reader, it’s mid March. No-one alive has quite seen anything like this.
Naturally it didn’t help Burnley that their bold positional reinterpretation of English football involved their centre half deciding not to track him, as Ameen Al-Dakhill did here after initially challenging for a header on 32 minutes.
There are interesting maverick takes on the role of the centre half in modern football but the failure to win a header and then standing around whilst the most prolific striker in world footballer takes off on a follow up run is not among them. Especially when the ball has fallen to World Cup winner Julian Alvarez, who threaded through the kind of ball that Haaland simply devours. Sprinting on to it, even his finish was exquisite, delaying his striker until keeper Bailey Peacock-Farnell had committed and then prodding it past him.
Julian Alvarez got in on the action with a brace against the Championship leaders
Kevin De Bruyne was at his best against Burnley after contributing with two assists
There followed a full-on time out by Kompany and as City celebrated. Burnley had presumably planned for this moment, as the second the ball hit the net they all ran to the bench to receive the coach’s instructions.
What wasn’t in the playbook was conceding a second to Haaland three minutes later. This time it was the brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden that provided the assist, De Bruyne’s ball inside right back Connor Roberts was simply impossible to defend, which was followed by Foden rolling his cross into the path of Haaland for 2-0. Haaland celebrated by pointing at Foden, passing on the credit but he could equally have signposted De Bruyne.
Half time loomed, substitutes were made by Kompany as Ashley Barnes and Jack Cork came on yet you sensed by now it was all a little futile. So it proved. Foden was buzzing around like the best kid on the playground showing off, taking players on at will. He accelerated past his man on 60 minutes, tucked away his shot, only to see it rebound off the post. No matter. Guess who was there, taking a perfectly coordinated swing first time and nailing the rebound? This was Haaland’s sixth hat-trick of the season.
Three minutes later Riyad Mahrez found De Bruyne and Alvarez finished the incisive move for 4-0. If it were cricket, CIty would have declared and were it boxing Kompany would have chucked in the towel. As it was, Guardiola did the only decent thing and took Haaland off.
Yet even that couldn’t stop the goal glut. By now Burnley were thoroughly demoralised, soaking wet as the rain swirled around The Etihad and frankly had abandoned any clear sense of tactical discipline. So it was that Cole Palmer, the 20 year old replacement for Haaland, would find himself with a clear opportunity to make it 5-0 on 67 minutes after Peacock-Farrell had deflected Foden’s cross into his path. Of course, he took it.
De Bruyne, who were it not for the astonishing Norwegian, would have been man of the match, was simply in his element, afforded time and space in midfield. That’s an uncomfortable combination for any team facing City and there was something symbolic about the sixth goal, with the Belgian just playing one of those delightful balls through a ragged Burnley midfield for Alvarez.
There is nothing the Argentine loves more to run at goal and as he twisted and turned, poor Al-Dakhill landed on his backside. As such, it was simple for Alvarez to make it 6-0. The mercy for Burnley is they stopped there.
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