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Manchester City waltzed to victory against Burnley with a 5-0 win in the Premier League on Monday night.
Phil Foden opened the scoring midway through the first half, with Riyad Mahrez adding a brace in quick succession, the second from the penalty spot.
David Silva added another after the break, before Foden notched his second in an easy rout for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Here are five things we learned from City’s latest comfortable win at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite a huge push of awareness and action around the Premier League in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, pre-game saw an utterly abhorrent plan carried out as a plane flew a ‘white lives matter Burnley’ banner above the Etihad Stadium.
Burnley were quick to condemn the move—as were most people on social media—and stated those responsible “in no way represents what Burnley FC stands for.”
It can be hoped that those responsible are quickly identified and appropriate action taken.
In the meantime, the Premier League must continue the good start made so far in making a tangible difference to attitudes and encourage supporters to do likewise.
Despite the allowance of nine players on the bench for Premier League teams for the remainder of the season, the two benches here highlighted the vast difference in resources.
Manchester City left elite talents such as Kevin de Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte, Ilkay Gundogan and others on the bench – plus the returning Leroy Sane.
Meanwhile opponents Burnley could only name seven players in total, more than one of which has no top-flight experience.
The financial gulf between the top of the Premier League and the rest has rarely been more stark—even if in this case it was due in part to the club not having arranged contract extensions with several senior players.
No David Silva for Man City next season, but they appear well-set regardless if the performances of two attacking midfielders on show are anything to go by.
Phil Foden scored twice and put in an all-round excellent performance, while Bernardo Silva has been a little below his best this term but was irrepressible on this occasion.
Foden, drifting between the left side of the attack and the centre of the park, found space to open the Burnley defeat time and time again.
Portuguese star Silva laid on a couple of goals for his team-mates and pulled the strings from the middle; the two could feasibly dovetail together in the middle of the park, or combine nicely on the sides of the attack as needed, with Kevin de Bruyne another world-class creator in the centre alongside them.
Three visits in a row for Burnley to the Etihad have now seen them ship five goals.
October 2018 saw a 5-0 hammering in the league, with the same scoreline recurring in three months later in the FA Cup.
This, a first return to the Etihad since that game, saw an equally poor scoreline—clearly, Burnley’s usual solid, reliable and tenacious approach doesn’t fare well against Guardiola’s set-up.
In truth there was never any prospect of Burnley doing anything other than trying to hold on, and the defence was nowhere near organised or aggressive enough to last out the 90 without conceding
Manchester City will not want to give up their Premier League crown any earlier than is necessary—and they can delay the moment they pass on the trophy to Liverpool by another couple of games, at least.
Guardiola’s team face Chelsea on Thursday and, assuming Liverpool beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday, a win will be required to stop the Reds sealing the title without playing.
Should City seal another win there, it will come down to a clash between the top two at the Etihad, on 2 July.
Liverpool will only need a draw at that point to win the title at the home of the outgoing champions, so two successive wins will be Pep’s minimum target after this most routine of warm-ups.