Manchester City 5 v 0 Burnley (FA Premier League)
Burnley arrived at the Etihad Staduim this evening on a winning run that goes back as far as January 2020, tonight’s match against Manchester City is the Clarets first match back in action as part of “Project re-start” and with a number of first team players out of action due to injury and contract issues, Sean Dyche lists five players on the bench that have never featured for the club.
It was not a great start to the evening as far as Burnley Football Club are concerned with manager Sean Dyche again passing comment about the chairman and board not acting quick enough to offer contract extentions to some of the current players that are set to leave next week. Then as the players took a knee on the pitch to support the Black Lives Matters Campaign, a plane went over the stadium with a sign saying White Lives Matter (Burnley), which lead to the club issuing a statement strongly condeming the action and advising that the people that took this action are not welcome at Turf Moor.
After signing in the January transfer window, Josh Brownhill made the starting line up for the first time coming into the midfield replacing Jeff Hendrick as the Clarets played their first fixture since March as part of the Premier League’s Project Re-Start. Like most of the games that have been played over the last week behind closed doors it started slowly a bit like a training game with just one effort at goal in the opening fifteen minutes, which was a free-kick from the home side that went high and wide.
On twenty-two minutes, Manchester City took the lead following a short corner which was played to Phil Foden on the edge of the Clarets area, Foden’s smashed a low drive into the bottom right-hand corner past Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope to make the score 1-0.
Manchester City continued to have most of the possession and therefore controlled the match for the next twenty minutes, with the Clarets looking well off the pace following a three month lay off. Neither side really created any clear cut chances, as Dwight McNeil tried to bring the Clarets back into the game with some excellent runs, but City defended well and closed down the clarets attacks.
City, extended their lead on forty-two minutes, when Mahrez collected the ball on the right-hand side before going past Charlie Taylor in the penalty area and firing the ball beyond Nick Pope to make the score 2-0.
On forty-five minutes, David Silva got free inside the Clarets area before squaring the ball across the six yard box to Aguero, who managed to get a shot at the Clarets goal whilst being challenged by Ben Mee. Despite there being no appeals from the City players VAR reviewed the incident and awarded the home side a penalty.
Sergio Agüero required treatment after the incident due to the way he landed and not because of the tackle from Ben Mee, Agyero left the pitch injuried and it looks like his season may be over. Two minutes into injury time Riyad Mahrez converted the penatly making the half-time score 3-0 to Manchester City.
The second-half followed the same pattern as the first with the home side well on top and they extended their lead just six minutes into the half, when Bernardo Silva broke into the Burnley area before playing the ball across the six yard box for David Silva to smash the ball passed Nick Pope in the Clarets goal to make the score 4-0.
On the hour mark, manager Sean Dyche made his first change of the evening replacing the visitors Jay Rodriguez with Erik Pieters to try and sure things up at the back, having lost their previous two visits to the Etihad Stadium 5-0.
Unfortunately, the change made no difference and just eight minutes later the home side added a fifth goal through Phil Foden, who found himself unmarked at the back post to fire a shot against the Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope and into the net for his second and Manchetser City’s fifth goal of the game for the third consecutive season.
Sean Dyche gave a Premier League debut to Clarets youth team striker Max Thompson with five minutes of the match remaining. Thompson, joined the club from Everton and he replaced Matej Vydra who had little joy up from for the Clarets as a lone striker.
Ben Mee (Burnley Captain) asked to speak with the media before leaving the pitch after the game as he wanted to address the plane incident before the kick-off. Mee, said “I’m ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to put that around the stadium. They have completely missed the point and there’s a group of lads in there who are embarrassed to see that. It’s not what we are about at all and has missed the whole point of what we’ve achieved and what we’re trying to do (through backing the Black Lives Movement).
These people need to educate themselves as a lot of us do and like I said, it completely missed the point of the whole thing we’re trying to achieve. It does not represent what we’re about, the club’s about, the players are about and what the majority of fans are about, I’m sure it is a small minority of people and I’m really upset that happened. I’m ashamed and upset it’s associated with our club, my club and it’s not something we want to see at all in the game. We totally condemn it and are embarrassed by it.”
Speaking after the match manager Sean Dyche said, “We are coming out of a lockdown period and we have only had one game against Preston North End, the players have not had many minutes, we always knew this one would be tough. It’s about the fitness and mentality going into the games coming up, so that’s one thing to take from the game this evening. There will be an advantage to coming out of this game, which is increased fitness and sharpness and all the habits that we didn’t show on two goals tonight.
That was a reality night for us, it’s never easy when you come here. You need to be right on your game and for them to have an off day, and although we worked hard, we were not on top of our game and they had a night when they were very clinical. It’s been a tough build up and when players see their mates leaving the club that is difficult particularly so close to the first game. But that’s the reality of our club and I’ve been managed here for seven and a half years and sometimes these challenges are there.”
Manchester City – Ederson, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Foden, Rodri, Silva, Mahrez, Agüero, Bernardo Silva (Subs) Walker, Sterling, Gundogan, Jesus, Laporte, De Bruyne, Sane, Mendy, Carson
Burnley – Pope, Lowton, Taylor, Tarkowski, Mee, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Brownhill, Vydra, Rodrigeuz (Subs) Peacock-Farrell, Jensen, Pieters, Long, Thompson, Dunne, Thomas
Goals – (Manchester City) Foden (22,62), Mahrez (42,45+2p), D.Silva (51 )
Attendance – 0 (Behind Closed Doors)