Premier League


Live Commentary: Man CityManchester City 5-0 Burnley

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Manchester City's 5-0 win over Burnley, as the Citizens cruised to their seventh win in nine league outings.
By , Football League Correspondent | 3mo

Five different players got on the scoresheet as Manchester City cruised to a 5-0 win over Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.

Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho scored within two minutes of each other early in the second half, adding to Sergio Aguero's straigtforward finish inside the opening quarter of the game.

A couple of late goals then followed from Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane as the Citizens moved two points clear at the top of the table.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium. Reigning champions City dropped points for just the second time this season in their last outing before the international break, but even that 0-0 draw at Anfield can be considered a positive result as they did enough to go into the two-week hiatus at the top of the pile thanks to their superior goal difference over the Reds and Chelsea.
It has been a pretty mixed start to the season for today's visitors, meanwhile, as they picked up one point from the first 15 on offer, before putting together a run of two wins and a draw ahead of the international break. It leaves the Clarets sitting 12th in the division, five points above the relegation zone and five points below Manchester United in eighth place. It is fair to say that their season could still go either way.

STARTING XI: Ederson; Laporte, Kompany, Stones, Mendy; D.Silva, Fernandinho, Bernardo; Mahrez, Aguero, Sane

SUBS: Muric, Sterling, De Bruyne, Otamendi, Jesus, Zinchenko, Foden

The big team news as far as the hosts are concerned is that Kevin De Bruyne, out since picking up a knee injury in training in the opening week of the season, is back among the subs today. De Bruyne, who scored eight and set up 16 more in the top flight last season, has stepped up his fitness programme over the past couple of weeks and could well get 20 minutes or so from the bench this afternoon, depending on how things pan out.
City show two changes from their goalless draw at Anfield, with Kyle Walker nowhere to be seen and Raheem Sterling dropping to the bench. Vincent Kompany therefore comes into the backline alongside John Stones in a move that sees Aymeric Laporte shuffle across to full-back, on the opposite flank to the fit-again Benjamin Mendy - having him back to full fitness is a big boost for the Citizens.
The absence of Sterling is a surprising one, as the English winger has been involved in 14 Premier League goals in his last 12 outings, although Pep Guardiola may well have an eye on next week's huge showdown with Tottenham Hotspur. Leroy Sane profits from Sterling's absence, meaning a front three of Sane, Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero, with the latter boasting six goals in six appearances against the Clarets, including three in four at the Etihad Stadium.

STARTING XI: Hart; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Gudmundsson, Cork, Defour, Hendrick, Lennon; Vokes

SUBS: Heaton, Wood, Westwood, Barnes, Vydra, Long, Bardsley

Switching attention to the visiting team, Sean Dyche has also made two changes to his side from the 1-1 home draw against Huddersfield Town a fortnight ago. The big news is that Steven Defour is back involved in the Premier League for the first time since January following a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Defour could have featured in the Huddersfield match but missed out for personal reasons, but he is back today and is a real threat in midfield.
Jeff Hendrick is the other player to come into the side, as Dyche packs out his midfield with five players. It could be a long afternoon for Sam Vokes as the lone striker, but the Welshman is certainly in good form as he has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since August 2017, with three of those goals coming via Johann Berg Gudmundsson crosses. Vokes also scored a consolation for Wales in their 4-1 loss to Spain nine days ago.
This is also a big occasion for Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart, who is back at the Etihad Stadium today for the first time as a visiting player. The Englishman appeared 348 times for the club in all competitions prior to Guardiola's arrival, winning five major honours across those 12 years, including the Premier League title in 2012 and 2014. Elsewhere, James Tarkowski has recovered from a groin problem to retain his place alongside Ben Mee at centre-back.
Kevin De Bruyne returns to Manchester City's matchday squad today for the first time in more than two months, having recovered from a knee injury during the international break. Pep Guardiola makes two changes from the 0-0 draw with Liverpool, bringing in Vincent Kompany and Leroy Sane for Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling, while Burnley also show a couple of alterations from their stalemate with Huddersfield Town.
This is the first season since 2011-12 that three teams remain unbeaten in the Premier League after eight rounds of matches, although that could soon become just two unbeaten sides as Chelsea trail Manchester United 2-1 in the final throes of the day's early kickoff. Ahead of that showdown in West London, just two points separated Man City in top spot and Tottenham Hotspur in fifth, offering hope of a proper title race being on the cards.
It has been a good few years now since the title race went into the final stages of the season, but Chelsea and Liverpool have showed in the opening couple of months that they could well last the distance this time around. In fact, Man City are the only member of the current top five not to have improved their points tally from this stage 12 months ago, although that is largely because they were also a dominant force in 2017-18 when racking up triple figures come May.
The draw at Anfield was just the second time this season that City have dropped points in the Premier League, coming six weeks on from their 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Citizens may have been left kicking themselves come full time in what was a bland affair on Merseyside, having missed a late penalty through Riyad Mahrez, but Guardiola will be happy to have restricted the Reds, keeping his side out in front in the process.
RESULT! I mentioned a few minutes ago that Chelsea were heading for their first league defeat of the Maurizio Sarri era - well I spoke a little too soon. Ross Barkley popped up in the sixth minute of added time to rescue the Blues a 2-2 draw in that early kickoff against Manchester United, lifting his side out in front at the top of the Premier League in the process. Still, City and Liverpool now both have a chance to overtake Sarri's men over the next five hours or so.
The Citizens racked up a century of points last season and are on course to do so again this time around, although as Guardiola has himself admitted a couple of times this term, simply finishing top - whether by 19 points or one - is all that matters. Unlike the final quarter of last season when the pressure was seemingly off City in every match they played, this time around it feels different as they need to keep stride with many people's favourites Liverpool.
Guardiola's men have threatened to flex their muscles over the past month, racking up four matches in a row - scoring 12 and conceding just once in the process - prior to that stalemate at Anfield. A win on enemy territory would have been the perfect way to round off the first segment of the season, but as it is it remains incredibly tight at the top. They now have a chance to rebuild momentum, as Tottenham Hotspur are the only top-half side they face over the next month.
That match at Wembley Stadium next week will be huge no matter what the result at the Etihad Stadium today. The Citizens also have a double-header against Shakhtar Donetsk to prepare for before the next international break, as well as the visit of Fulham in the EFL Cup fourth round. Reigning supreme on the continent is surely the big target for Guardiola this season, and in that regard City still have plenty of work to do.
Man City are the only Premier League side with a 100% home record in 2018-19, having so far seen off Huddersfield Town, Newcastle United, Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion. Sixteen goals have been scored in that time and three conceded, including clean sheets in back-to-back matches here. It is looking pretty ominous for the rest of the chasing pack, as Guardiola's men have pushed on from where they left off last season.
DID YOU KNOW? Manchester City may have fired a blank at Anfield two weeks ago, but they have still outscored every other side in the Premier League this season with 21 to their name, two more than next-best Arsenal on 19. Should they fail to find the net today, it will be the first time that they have gone successive games without scoring in the Premier League since Pep Guardiola arrived.
Only twice before has a Guardiola-managed side gone back-to-back league games without scoring, in fact - April 2014 and May 2015 when in charge of Bayern Munich, although the Bundesliga title had already been wrapped up on both occasions. Sticking with the stats theme, Man City could make it a record 34 games unbeaten in the Saturday 3pm slot if they avoid defeat today, with 29 of those previous matches ending in victory.

Burnley make the trip to Manchester occupying 12th place in the Premier League, sitting a far-more-comfortable five points above the relegation zone after recovering from a dreadful start to the season. The Clarets found themselves rock bottom at one stage following a run that saw them lose to Watford, Fulham, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, with their only point from the first 15 on offer coming at Southampton on the opening day.
The Clarets then thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 at Turf Moor and followed that up with the slenderest of of victories against fellow strugglers Cardiff City to take the pressure off. The 1-1 draw against Huddersfield last time out was pretty underwhelming on the face of it, but Dyche declared himself pleased with his side's performance, knowing that the point was good enough to keep the moment going.
Having taken three points from the last 30 on offer stretching back into last season, it is now seven points from nine for Burnley. The Clarets' upturn in fortunes has coincided with their European exit, as they came through a couple of tough qualifiers before falling just short. You cannot paint that Europa League exit as a positive - the club would have loved to have competed in the group stage for the first time - but the early signs are that it may well save them from the Premier League drop.
Burnley have a good record when it comes to facing the reigning Premier League champions, having beaten the title winners in each of their last four Premier League campaigns - Manchester United in 2009-10, Manchester City in 2014-15, Leicester City in 2016-17 and Chelsea in 2017-18. That is the best such win-rate during that time, and victory at the Etihad Stadium would surely trump the lot - even accounting for that memorable 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge last term.
Not since May 2010, however, has an English manager come away from the Etihad Stadium with all three points. Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur won 1-0 here in a crucial game eight years ago; since then no other manager, in 37 attempts, has claimed victory against Man City on their own patch. That run includes 18 successive losses for English bosses, so Dyche will be aiming to do something about that today.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS! Manchester City have won four of the eight Premier League meetings between these two sides, although three of those have ended in a draw, including when they last faced off in February. Johann Berg Gudmundsson earned Burnley a point with his second-half goal at Turf Moor in a game best remembered for Raheem Sterling's shocking miss when his side were a goal in front.
The Clarets are winless in their last 14 league trips to Man City, however, with their most recent top-flight triumph in this fixture coming at Maine Road in 1963. Burnley's overall record is not much better, either, having won just one of the last 19 encounters in league and cup - a sequence spanning 43 years. Dyche's men did pull off an upset when the teams locked horns in Lancashire eight months ago, though, and the same cannot be ruled out today.

Pep Guardiola: "I think it always helps to play in Europe. It is more demanding physically and mentally with just three or four days to recover but if you want to take the next step as a club it is good. Joe Hart? I think he is undoubtedly important to the club. We will see on Saturday how appreciated he is by our fans."

Sean Dyche: "Joe's very experienced now Joe, he's played in enough big games of different sorts. Obviously it's a different kind of emotion, a club you've got a big history with and a recent history, but I think he'll just want to get on with it and not overthink it. I didn't bring him here to prove a point to anyone."

Guardiola has talked up the quality of Joe Hart in the build-up to this match, despite being the man who ended the Englishman's Etihad Stadium career. Dyche, meanwhile, insists that Hart does not have a point to prove on his first return to this ground as an opposition player, but there is no doubt that all eyes will be on him today. Kickoff between Manchester City and Burnley is now just a couple of minutes away...

KICKOFF:  Manchester City get us up and running at the Etihad Stadium. Vincent Kompany has been cautioned inside the opening 60 seconds for catching Aaron Lennon high up the leg after he was played into trouble by Aymeric Laporte.
CLOSE!  That was a real nasty challenge on Lennon, who is still receiving treatment on the sideline. A yellow card was about right, but Kompany could have caused some real damage there. From the free kick, Sam Vokes heads over Johann Berg Gudmundsson's delivery.
CHANCE!  Sergio Aguero so nearly took advantage of a fine ball from deep via the boot of Riyad Mahrez, but he could only guide his diving header wide of goal from around 15 yards. James Tarkowski was caught sleeping there - you cannot afford to do that when defending Aguero.
Following a bright start for Burnley, it has been pretty much all Man City ever since. The ball bounced around in the box and Bernardo Silva rather scuffed his shot, giving the visitors a real let-off in the process.
A couple of decent chances for Man City early on, then, and Burnley have also had that half-chance for Sam Vokes. The game has not quite settled down yet, with the Citizens keen to get an early goal on the board.
YELLOW CARD!  John Stones is far too casual with this pass, sending the ball straight out of play when under no pressure at all. Burnley are unable to capitalise, and moments later Jack Cork entered the referee's book for hauling down David Silva.
SAVE!  Riyad Mahrez looks as though he is playing at right wing-back and Benjamin Mendy at left wing-back. For the second time today Mahrez gets forward and sends in a delightful ball for Aguero, who could not squeeze the ball past Joe Hart from close range - good reaction stop.
City are looking pretty dominant at the moment and they are slowly creating chances. Joe Hart has made one good save to keep out Sergio Aguero, and the Argentinian striker also came close with another attempt from 15 yards out.
Less than a quarter of the game has been played but this goal had been coming. Sergio Aguero this time gets the better of Joe Hart with a pretty straightforward finish from eight yards following some neat interplay between Leroy Sane and David Silva, culminating in the latter picking out Aguero in space.

That is now seven goals in seven games against Burnley for Sergio Aguero, including four in five here. The Citizens have looked bright early on, bar a two-minute spell at the start in which the Clarets really took the game to their opponents.
Burnley may be forced into an early change here as Ashley Westwood appears to be getting ready to come on. Jeff Hendrick gets a cross into the box towards the penalty spot, where Vincent Kompany defended the ball in an unorthodox manner.
No real change to the flow of the game, as Man City continue to dictate things at the Etihad Stadium. The Citizens are having particular joy down the flanks, where Riyad Mahrez and Benjamin Mendy are being granted too much freedom.
Riyad Mahrez watches the ball all the way and fires in a volley, which Charlie Taylor got in the way of in front of goal. The Citizens look as though they have a second goal in them before the interval.
Close to half an hour played at the Etihad Stadium and Man City have enjoyed 77% of possession. The hosts have not done a great deal since edging in front, and as long as it remains 1-0 the Clarets have a chance of nicking a point.
CHANCE!  Sergio Aguero is allowed to run at the Burnley defence and gets a shot away at the end of it. Charlie Taylor blocked the attempt, but David Silva was quickly onto the loose ball and lofted it over Joe Hart, though it had too much on it and ended over the bar.
YELLOW CARD!  Jeff Hendrick goes in hard on Fernandinho and is rightly cautioned by referee Jonathan Moss. No official has dished out more cautions than this official in 2018-19, but all three yellows today have been justified.
Riyad Mahrez, who missed a late pen for City in their 0-0 draw at Liverpool two weeks ago, looks well up for this one. The Algerian winger had a couple of options in the middle, but he tried to catch out Joe Hart by shooting into the side-netting.
SHOT!  Burnley's best moment since Sam Vokes's header inside the first few minutes, as Jack Cork beat his man on the counter and set Jeff Hendrick away. Hendrick dummied past Vincent Kompany but was denied by the block of John Stones 15 yards out.
A little over five minutes to go until half time and Benjamin Mendy is currently receiving some treatment - that's one for Guardiola to keep a close eye on; the last thing he wants is to lose one of his key men at this point in the season.
The visitors are just having to hold on a little here as we edge closer to the half-time interval. Burnley have had their moments, with Sam Vokes and Jeff Hendrick both coming close, but the home side are deserving of their lead.
The match is going through a very quiet period at the moment. Man City have not done a great deal in the final third since edging in front, with David Silva's hooked shot the closest they have come to doubling their advantage.
SHOT!  Not a bad attempt from Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who has one goal to his name this season, as he works a yard of space 20 yards from Ederson's goal and bends the ball wide. The Brazilian goalkeeper was happy to watch it sail wide.
SAVE!  This is a great save from Joe Hart to claw out David Silva's close-range header. Sergio Aguero really should have buried the rebound, but he instead blasted over the crossbar from a tight angle, despite having an empty net to aim for.
Manchester City take a deserved one-goal lead into the break at the Etihad Stadium. The Citizens would have had more if not for Joe Hart's heroics late on in the opening 45 minutes to keep out David Silva from close range, meaning that Sergio Aguero's 17th-minute strike is the difference between the two sides at the midway point.
Seeking a first away league win in this fixture since 1963, Burnley made a positive start and came close to opening the scoring through a Sam Vokes header over the bar inside the first three minutes. That came as a result of Vincent Kompany giving away a free kick for a bad challenge on Aaron Lennon, which resulted in the first of three first-half yellows.
Man City were having plenty of joy down the flanks thanks to the positioning of Benjamin Mendy and Riyad Mahrez, with the latter sending in a delightful delivery for Sergio Aguero. The Argentina international guided his effort wide of the target from 15 yards, while the same combination led to Aguero being thwarted by Hart soon after, this time from even closer range.
Aguero's breakthrough moment would arrive less than a quarter of the way into the match, though, as he found himself well positioned to tuck the ball out of Joe Hart's reach following some good interplay between David Silva and Leroy Sane. Seven goals in seven games against the Clarets should have been eight in seven before the interval, but he sent the ball over an unguarded net from a tight angle after Joe Hart had produced another fine save to keep out Silva's glanced header.
Silva also flicked the ball onto the roof of the net from an earlier effort as City took control of the game, though they were given a warning by Burnley when Jeff Hendrick worked some space and shot into John Stones in front of goal. Still all to play for with 45 minutes to go at the Etihad Stadium, then, with the Citizens unable to put the game out of their opponents' reach so far.

MANCHESTER CITY SUBS: Muric, Sterling, De Bruyne, Otamendi, Jesus, Zinchenko, Foden

BURNLEY SUBS: Heaton, Wood, Westwood, Barnes, Vydra, Long, Bardsley

KICKOFF:  We are back up and running in Manchester, where neither manager has made a change. Sean Dyche will be pretty pleased with the way his side held out in that first half, but you do get the impression that the Citizens have another couple of gears to shift through.
Kevin De Bruyne receives a strong applause as he is sent to warm-up for the first time today - will we see him at some point in this second half? The hosts win themselves a corner early in the half, which was worked to David Silva to blast into Matt Lowton's face.
Play has stopped for a good couple of minutes now for Matt Lowton to receive some treatment. The Burnley defender took the ball right in the face from David Silva's shot - brave defending, you could say, although I'm not sure how much he knew about it!
Surprised to see Matt Lowton make his way back onto the field of play following that extensive treatment. The physios are having a little discussion on the sidelines and clearly feel that he is OK to continue, despite looking a little dazed.
Fernandinho lofts the ball towards the back post, where Vincent Kompany is waiting to nod it back across goal. Sergio Aguero was in the right area to pounce, but Ben Mee got to the ball first. Burnley doing well to repel the opposition.
Man City wanted a penalty as Leroy Sane looked to have been pulled to the floor by Jack Cork. Jonathan Moss said no penalty and everyone appeared to just stand still as the ball was trickling out of play anyway. David Silva somehow kept it in play and pulled it back for Bernardo Silva, who thumped it into the top corner.
Burnley have been rattled by that Bernardo Silva goal - they felt that the ball went out of play before David Silva pulled it back for the Portuguese to convert. A minute later 2-0 becomes 3-0, as Fernandinho picked out the top corner from the edge of the box when a corner was only half-cleared.
MANCHESTER CITY SUB! The three points in the bag, Pep Guardiola brings on Kevin De Bruyne for the final half an hour. De Bruyne, who has missed his side's last 10 matches, takes over from Bernardo Silva for the remainder.
SAVE!  Kevin De Bruyne does not look like a player who has just sat out two months. Soon after being brought on, the Belgian playmaker swivelled and set Riyad Mahrez free on goal, but the winger's shot was saved down low by Joe Hart.
The match was delicately poised at half time, but those two City goals in quick succession have killed things off. Sergio Aguero appears to be the next home player about to be taken off, with Guardiola being given the luxury of rotating his side.
SAVE!  Sergio Aguero should have had more than one goal today. From this latest chance he shot down low but could not squeeze the ball through Joe Hart's legs. That is his last involvement in the match, as Gabriel Jesus has been brought on.
BURNLEY SUBS! Burnley's turn to make a couple of changes, as Westwood and Chris Wood come on for Vokes and Lennon. Before that some good Vincent Kompany defending denied Vokes in front of goal at the expense of a corner, from which the Welshman headed over.
Sane switches on the pace and is in behind, but he cannot quite pick out a teammate. Burnley nearly pulled one back through that Sam Vokes header, but otherwise they have not really done enough to get themselves back into the contest.
Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw by Manchester United earlier today and Liverpool are not in action until this evening, so Manchester City will be out in front at the top of the division. It is all very simple for the hosts at the moment, as they hold a three-goal advantage.
A replay of that second Man City goal - very much the turning point in the match - shows just why Burnley's players were so unhappy. The ball did look to cross the line before David Silva crossed it, but either way their players should have played to the whistle.
SUBS! Phil Foden, Man City's bright hope for the future, is on for David Silva, meaning a day off for Raheem Sterling - we'll no doubt see him at Wembley Stadium next week. Ashley Barnes is also on for Steven Defour.
SAVE!  The two subs combine as Phil Foden's cross into the middle is met by the head of Gabriel Jesus, but he could only send a tame header down the middle for Joe Hart to keep out. Twelve minutes to go and City clearly want a fourth goal.
More great play from Kevin De Bruyne, sliding the ball through Burnley's defence for Gabriel Jesus to get in behind. James Tarkowski did well to track the Brazilian's run and was happy to concede a corner, rather than a fourth goal.
Man City have themselves a fourth goal - and this is just about the pick of the bunch. A stunning strike from Riyad Mahrez, who cut inside onto his left and curled the ball right into the top corner of Joe Hart's net - four in six for him.
The Citizens have been very comfortable this afternoon and will argue that they deserve all four of their goals. Burnley have not exactly been terrible - in fact they were right in the game before collapsing following City's controversial second goal.
Burnley are really struggling to get a foothold in the match now, with just a few minutes left to play. City are putting together wave after wave of attack, and you would not bet against them adding a fifth goal to their tally at this rate.
Very casual from Man City, with John Stones's underhit pass so nearly pounced on by Chris Wood. Ederson saved his teammate by racing out and getting to the ball before Wood could loft it over him into the back of the net.
So, so easy for Manchester City - as it has been throughout this second half. Benjamin Mendy sends in a first-time cross from the left and Leroy Sane guided the ball into the bottom corner, despite appearing to scuff the ball.
Jonathan Moss brings the one-sided game to an end. Manchester City cruised over the line in the end thanks to goals from five different players, as Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane netted late on to add to earlier efforts from Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho. Burnley were aggrieved with the manner of City's second goal, with that very much proving to be the turning point.
That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from the Etihad Stadium. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, and you can follow updates of Liverpool's trip to Huddersfield Town in the late Premier League kickoff right here. Thanks for joining!

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