Match Report

Mahrez treble inspires rampant City

HIGH AND MIGHTY: Riyad Mahrez celebrates after his opener
Premier League
Premier League
Sat 28 Nov
5
0
Riyad Mahrez 
(6’, 22’, 69’), 
Benjamin Mendy 
(41’), 
Ferran Torres 
(66’)
View highlights
Riyad Mahrez struck a first City hat-trick as Burnley were handed a fourth successive 5-0 thrashing at the Etihad.

How the Clarets must despise this fixture as City again ran riot, with the pre-match talk of our goal-scoring problems hopefully silenced for the time being.

Mahrez bagged two and Benjamin Mendy grabbed his first goal for the Club to all-but settle the contest before the break.

Ferran Torres and Mahrez added further goals after the break as the Clarets endured yet another miserable trip to the blue half of Manchester.

What happened?

Burnley generally play to their defensive strengths whenever possible, so to see a more attacking line-up start this game was a brave move.

The fact the Clarets had lost the last three visits by a scoreline of 5-0 probably had Sean Dyche thinking that, even when his teams had tried to sit back and contain City, things hadn’t gone well, so why not have a go?

While it was an ambitious plan, it meant there was more space for City to exploit – and exploit it we did.

There were just six minutes on the clock when Mahrez opened the scoring, with Kevin De Bruyne finding the Algerian in the box and after collecting the pass, he curled it around Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

And it was Mahrez who doubled City’s lead on 21 minutes with Kyle Walker’s quick throw-in catching Burnley out – there was still work to do and as he skipped past one challenge, dropped his shoulder past another defender before thumping a shot in off the post to make it 2-0.

It was the first time since our win at Wolves on the opening day that we’d scored more than one goal in a Premier League game.

And the opening period got even better with another delightful goal.

De Bruyne - drifting right, left, centre or wherever he could cause problems – spotted Mendy’s run into the box on the left and delivered a cross that the French defender expertly volleyed past the keeper for his first City goal in 60 appearances.

Burnley improved after the restart and caused one or two problems but when City shifted up a gear midway through, the Clarets shipped another two goals in the space of three minutes.

Goal No.4 came with a fine nove that saw Mahrez find the overlapping Walker and his low cross was picked up by Jesus who nudged it to Ferran Torres to drill home from eight yards.

Three minutes later, it was five.

Again, a terrific team move saw De Bruyne sweep a ball out Phil Foden – on the pitch for less than 90 seconds – and his excellent cross from the left was headed home by Mahrez at the far post.

Debutant Peacock-Farrell was spared an own goal to make it six with VAR judging Gabriel Jesus to have been an inch or so offside, and few would have wished that on the young keeper who had been worked so hard all afternoon.

Star Man: Riyad Mahrez

Sublime performance from the Algerian winger who scored his first City hat-trick and his first treble for five years.

Stones back to his best?

The confidence fairly oozed out of John Stones against Burnley.

The City defender has found games hard to come by in recent times, but he’s worked hard to get back into contention and his efforts are clearly paying off.

The England centre-half, playing back-to-back games after the win at Olympiakos, rarely put a foot wrong during a composed, classy performance.

His ability to bring the ball out of defence and find team-mates with crisp passing will have pleased Pep Guardiola immensely.

Teams

City: Ederson, Kyle Walker, Rúben Dias (Eric Garcia 70), John Stones, Ilkay Gündogan, Gabriel Jesus, Rodrigo (Fernandinho 46), Kevin De Bruyne (c), Ferran Torres (Phil Foden 67),. Benjamin Mendy, Riyad Mahrez

Substitutes

Zack Steffen, Raheem Sterling,. Bernardo Silva, João Cancelo, Eric Garcia

Stats and facts

City have won our last seven home matches against Burnley by an aggregate score of 29-2, winning the last four by a score of 5-0.

Notts County were the only side to have previously won four successive home games by at least a five-goal margin against the same opponent, doing so against Port Vale between October 1893 and February 1907.

Pep Guardiola’s men are the first Premier League team to beat the same opponent by at least five goals in four straight home meetings.

Riyad Mahrez has scored seven goals in his last four Premier League appearances against Burnley, while Sergio Aguero has nine goals in nine matches against them in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola has reached the milestone of 1,000 league points in his senior managerial career (1,002)

Pep reaction

"It was important to come back with a victory in the Premier League. One more game.

"We play a lot of games so to play 90 minutes and maintain a good level is not easy but there are always things to improve on.

"It's important for our people to score goals and it is a chance for them to keep playing."

Mendy reaction

"We feel very good. All the players and the team are so happy. We know we create a lot of chances and they didn't go in the goal, but today the strikers and midfielders did the job which is why we scored a lot.

"I feel like in some games it is more difficult because the opponent does not try to play with the ball and stay at the back. We work a lot on tactics and we were stronger."

WHAT IT MEANS...

With so many games still be played it's difficult to predict where City will be in the table.

For the time being, we move to eighth, six points behind current leaders Liverpool.

WHAT'S NEXT?

It's Champions League action again as City travel to Portugal to face Porto on Tuesday (8pm). knowing a draw will seal top spot in the group.

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