Before Saturday, the only joy Manchester City fans had was in Europe, where the team has won all four group games so far in the UEFA Champions League. In the Premier League, though, the team wasn’t nearly as productive.
Having drawn with Liverpool and lost to Tottenham in quick succession, the game against Burnley was a must-win. Guardiola’s side went into the match having uncharacteristically struggled in front of goal but finally banished their demons with a ruthless performance.
A goal-fest for Manchester City
Before Saturday's fixture, they had scored just 11 goals in eight Premier League matches. However, they netted five times to ease the pressure on their manager, who only recently signed a new two-year contract extension.
Riyad Mahrez was the star of the show as the Algerian scored a sensational hat-trick against the Clarets – his first treble of goals since joining the Citizens. Benjamin Mendy and Ferran Torres were also among the goals.
This was more like the Manchester City of old and the performance would have delighted Guardiola as he watched on from the bench. The team doesn’t lack talent or quality, but their struggles in recent weeks are evidence that all is not well.
When Guardiola spoke during his post-game press conference, he used the occasion to warn his attackers that they need to score goals if they want to keep their places in the team.
Pressure eased on Guardiola after tough few weeks
Manchester City's forwards have just not been good enough this season and the fact that it was Mahrez, who is not known for his scoring, that was the team's main goal threat against Burnley justifies the Spaniard's concerns.
"The last week and few days have been much, much better. We saw him [Mahrez] sharper when he was not before," said Guardiola, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
"Of course it can help us, especially for Riyad. For the other ones, Gabriel has to score goals, the others have to score goals, Sterling when he plays has to score goals. They haven't scored much and have to score goals. That is the reason why they are here and play up front."
Manchester City currently lies in the eighth position on the Premier League table, but there are still a lot of games to be played. In the meantime, though, the goal-fest against Burnley eases the pressure on Guardiola going into the next round of games.