Manchester City 3-1 Burnley: Álvarez bags birthday brace to beat Burnley

With Erling Haaland named on the bench and likely to make his first appearance for Manchester City since fracturing his foot almost two months ago, Vincent Kompany’s Burnley would be in for a tough time as the Belgian manager made his return to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

MCI: Ederson; Gvardiol, Aké, Stones, Lewis; Nunes, Rodri; Doku, De Bruyne, Foden; Álvarez

BUR: Trafford; Al Dakhil, Ekdal, O’Shea, Vitinho; Odobert, Brownhill, Berge, Gudmundsson; Amdouni, Foster

On his 24th birthday, it was Julian Álvarez that would emerge as the Cityzens most valuable asset against Burnley – with the Argentine forward heading home from a Matheus Nunes cross after just 16 minutes of play.

It took him just six further minutes to complete his brace, becoming just the 10th player to score two or more Premier League goals on his birthday as he smashed home from a Kevin De Bruyne free-kick.

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Rodri added the third goal of the evening at the start of the second half, powering Phil Foden’s cutback past James Trafford from the edge of the penalty area.

Erling Haaland’s introduction in the 71st minute proved to be fruitless, with the Norwegian spurning his best chance and prompting a laugh from his teammates on the bench.

Burnley fans were able to witness a late consolatory goal in stoppage time though, as Ameen Al-Dakhil netted from left-back to reduce the damage on the Clarets goal difference.

Burnley host Fulham on Saturday, while Manchester City travel to Brentford on Monday.