Manchester City ruthlessly massacred an under-par Burnley outfit by a 5-0 margin to register an important Premier League victory at the Etihad Stadium earlier today. The Cityzens outclassed Sean Dyche's side and were back to their clinical best in the final third.
Burnley have now suffered four consecutive 5-0 defeats against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and currently find themselves dangerously close to the relegation zone. Manchester City needed a victory prior to this game and Pep Guardiola will be pleased with his side's exceptional performance.
Manchester City fired a fair few warning shots in the opening stages of the game with Ferran Torres nearly hitting the target with a curved effort. Burnley were not at their best in the first half and Manchester City took full toll of an error from the opposition's midfield to score the opening goal.
Riyad Mahrez had an excellent first half and took advantage of yet another mistake by Burnley to double Manchester City's lead. Pep Guardiola's side dominated possession in the first half an excellent move involving Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy gave the Cityzens their third goal of the game a few minutes before half-time.
Manchester City maintained their stranglehold on Burnley's midfield in the second half and looked to build on their imposing lead. The Cityzens' efforts paid off after the hour-mark as Ferran Torres scored a well-deserved goal with his last kick of the game.
The Spaniard was replaced by Phil Foden who made an immediate impact on the match with a pinpoint cross to give Riyad Mahrez his first hat-trick in Manchester City's colours. Burnley did create a few chances towards the end of the game as Manchester City took their foot off the pedal. The Cityzens denied Burnley a consolation goal, however, and cruised to a comfortable victory.
#5 John Stones and Benjamin Mendy repay Guardiola's faith with positive outings
Manchester City's defence has received plenty of criticism this season for its lack of solidity and the likes of John Stones and Benjamin Mendy had a point to prove going into this game. The two defenders played key roles in Manchester City's clean sheet and will be happy with their performance.
Benjamin Mendy, in particular, was a potent threat on the left flank and was surprisingly accurate with his passing on the day. The French left-back is not a fan favourite at the moment but will have gained favour with the Manchester City's fanbase after a good performance and an excellent goal.
John Stones was also given an opportunity to shine alongside Ruben Dias against Burnley and was reliable throughout the game. Pep Guardiola will have to rotate his players on a regular basis next month and will need the likes of Stones and Mendy to be at their best.
#4 Sean Dyche got his tactics wrong against Manchester City
Burnley were thoroughly outclassed by a Manchester City outfit that was in no mood to relent on the day. The Clarets adopted their standard 4-4-2 shape against Pep Guardiola's side and paid a heavy price.
Burnley's rigid lines allowed the likes of Kevin De Bruyne to exploit well-defined pockets of space and limited the away side's ability to contain Manchester City's forward line. Sean Dyche had no answer to Manchester City's fluid movement and was unable to make amends in the second half.
Pep Guardiola's sides are tailor-made to exploit spaces and Burnley's approach to the game did the Clarets no favours. Burnley have lost tactical battles on several occasions in the past and will need to take it up a notch in the Premier League.