Vincent Kompany holds somewhat of a legendary status on the blue side of Manchester, and the FA Cup Quarterfinals presented the Belgian with an opportunity to return to the Etihad – though this time, he’d be in the away dugout. Michael Thomas predicted that this would be a fairly close affair, but Pep Guardiola had other plans as his City side secured their place at Wembley with a resounding 6-0 victory over the Clarets.
MCI: Ortega; Laporte, Dias, Walker; Lewis, Rodri; Foden, Alvarez, De Bruyne, Mahrez; Haaland
BUR: Peacock-Farrell; Maatsen, Beyer, Al-Dakhil, Roberts; Guðmundsson, Cullen; Zaroury, Vitinho, Tella; Foster
Burnley held on well for the opening half an hour or so, deploying a high line that Manchester City struggled to break through. Kompany’s side enjoyed the first chance of the game, as Anass Zaroury found Nathan Tella, but the Englishman slipped as he struck the ball – and while Stefan Ortega still had to dive to make the save, it never looked to threaten the ‘keeper much at all.
Anass Zaroury’s cross into the box was flicked towards Ameen Al-Dakhil by Joshua Cullen – but the centre-back’s header at the back post wasn’t cleanly struck, and that was a huge missed opportunity for the Clarets early on.
Those early missed chances would come back to bite the visitors – as Erling Haaland found the back of the net in the 32nd minute to open the scoring. Julian Alvarez sent the Norwegian through on goal with a beautiful through ball, and the striker had no problems working his way past Bailey Peacock-Farrell before firing into the back of the net – scoring his 40th goal of the season in the process.
Much like against RB Leipzig earlier in the week, the goals didn’t stop coming for Haaland, who bagged a second goal just three minutes later. Phil Foden’s low cross found the striker with pinpoint accuracy, and it was a simple finish for the ex-BVB man who nestled the ball into the bottom-left corner.
A flurry of chances at the start of the second half could have seen City extend their lead further, as De Bruyne, Mahrez and Haaland all came close to finding the back of the net. It was none other than Erling Haaland who bagged his third of the game though – and his second hat-trick of the week – in the 59th minute, as he slotted home on the rebound after Foden’s initial strike hit the post.
Julian Alvarez was the next player to want in on the goalscoring action, and he made it four for City with a close-range finish. Riyad Mahrez played Kevin De Bruyne in on the right, and the Belgian cut it back across the box to find Alvarez, who fired home into an empty net for the easiest finish of the night.
City’s fifth goal came from Cole Palmer, who capitalised on a mistake from Peacock-Farrell to fire home on the rebound. Phil Foden’s strike across the face of the goal was parried back out to Palmer by the Burnley ‘keeper, who couldn’t do anything about the second strike – City were well and truly cruising.
Pep Guardiola’s side mate it 6-0 in the 73rd minute, as Julian Alvarez netted his second of the evening – working his way past Al-Dakhil to get on the end of De Bruyne’s pass before firing past Peacock-Farrell. The hosts could have made it seven in the closing minutes – though I don’t think Pep will be too mad with a six-goal victory after their 7-0 win against Leipzig in midweek.