Manchester City 4-1 Burnley: 5 Talking Points
Final score: Manchester City 4-1 Burnley
Goalscorers: Ashley Barnes 25' (Burnley), Sergio Aguero 56', 58' (Manchester City), Leroy Sane 71' (Manchester City), Bernardo Silva 82' (Manchester City)
Manchester City played host to Sean Dyche's Burnley for their 3rd round clash in the Emirates FA Cup. The Clarets put in quite the shift in the first half, and threatened to stun the world indefinitely when they opened the scoring in the 25th minute, through an Ashley Barnes blinder.
They subsequently went on to hold their ground for the entirety of the first half. They endured and parried all of City's attempts and went in at the break, leading 1-0. With much at stake in the second half, Burnley promised sustained resistance, maintaining their lead for a further 10 minutes.
Until a certain Argentinian devil by the name Sergio Aguero decided to wreak havoc, scoring a quickfire double in under 2 minutes. With that, the floodgates were wrenched apart, and City reminded us that they're never a one-man show. Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva piled on further misery far beyond Burnley's appetite, scoring late goals to end the game 4-1.
The difficulty in picking these from among so many was immense, but that being said, here are the 5 key talking points from last night's clash which saw the Citizens qualify for the 4th round of the FA Cup:
#5 No Kevin De Bruyne? No problem
Manchester City went into this game fully intent on going all guns blazing, as they fielded a full-strength (well, almost) side, with the only notable absentee being club-hero Kevin De Bruyne.
The Belgian was understandably given a breather and did could only watch the start from the bench. De Bruyne, who is being widely hailed as one of the best midfielders at the moment, has been instrumental in City's blitzkrieg this season, and his absence in the starting 11 would've certainly raised a few questions when Ashley Barnes put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute.
However, Burnley, as tight as they held on, could only hold on for so long. The partnership of Ilkay Gundogan and Sergio Aguero boomeranged the Clarets in a span of 90-odd seconds. Aguero scored both, while Gundogan set both up on a platter.
The German was undoubtedly one of City's best players on the night, with 2 shots, 2 assists, 3 tackles, and a passing accuracy of 95%. While a City fan would've been unhappy to see him go off, he was only removed for talismanic Kevin de Bruyne. Can't really complain, can you, City fans?
Although De Bruyne did come in the 76th for an influential cameo, City were already leading 3-1, after Leroy Sane stroked home the 3rd, after a neat exchange with David Silva. They just always have to fire on all cylinders, don't they?
Of course, the 26-year old did come on and work his magic, finding Leroy Sane with an exquisitely crafted cross, who subsequently assisted Bernardo Silva's goal that ended the game 4-1. However, City's fans and bosses will be pleased by the fact that there's no over-reliance on Kevin De Bruyne.