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Wednesday, 18 May 2022, 3:43

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Burnley 0-2 Manchester City: 3 Factors which stood out in the match

Manchester City beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor in a Premier League match on Saturday. Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan scored for City in the 5th and 25th minutes, respectively. The gulf in quality between the two sides was apparent as the home side struggled to make their presence felt.

This win propelled Manchester City to the top position in the league table with 73 points from 30 matches. They are one point ahead of second-placed Liverpool, who beat Watford 2-0 earlier on Saturday.

On that note, let’s take a look at three factors which stood out in this match:

 

#1 Manchester City dominated from the beginning

Quite expectedly, Manchester City, who started the match with their customary 4-3-3 formation, dominated the match from the very beginning. To make matters worse for Burnley, the visitors did not have to wait too long to get the opening goal.

Rodri played a cross into the Burnley penalty box from the middle third and it was put down to Kevin De Bruyne by Raheem Sterling with a deft touch. De Bruyne shot home first time from close distance. It was the Belgian’s 11th goal of the season.

The move for the first goal was too quick for Burnley’s defence to react to and organize themselves. The early goal set the tone of the match as the hosts struggled to get the ball throughout the first half.

City had more than 80% ball possession during the first 20 minutes of the match and never allowed their opponents to have a significant impact in the first half.

#2 Burnley struggled to make their presence felt

Manchester City started playing with a high defensive line from the outset and played passes freely all over the pitch. As the match progressed, they started playing more crosses into the opposition penalty box.

Left-back Joao Cancelo remained a primary attacking threat for the visitors throughout the first half. Raheem Sterling made quite a few darting runs through the right.

Cancelo kept making his overlapping runs through the left while Jack Grealish, who started as the left-winger, frequently shifted inside to a more central position. City centre-backs and midfielders kept playing long balls to either wing as Cancelo and Sterling had the Burnley defenders on their toes.

Midway through the first half, Sterling played a slick one-two with Phil Foden and then went near the goal-line before delivering a cross from the right. The cross was met by Gundogan, who volleyed home with ease.

Even after the second goal, Manchester City kept frustrating Burnley with their fluid passing football. The likes of de Bruyne, Grealish, and Foden repeatedly dropped down to the half-line to collect balls and orchestrate moves from there.

The home side had to wait till the 35th minute to earn their first corner. In comparison, City had seven corners in the first half itself.

#3 City got more chances but couldn’t score in 2nd half

The Cityzens started the proceedings in the second half in the same fashion as they did in the first. Gundogan forced a diving save from Burnley’s goalkeeper Nick Pope during the initial period of the second half.

Grealish was the primary creative outlet for the visitors during the initial phases of the second half as Cancelo curbed his attacking instincts somewhat.

As the second half progressed, City gradually stopped playing long balls and relied more on their customary short passes to keep their opponents at bay. Pep Guardiola then introduced Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva in place of Foden and de Bruyne respectively.

Jesus was unlucky to miss out on a goal. One of his shots from a Bernardo Silva cross hit the post, while a few others missed the target by a small margin.

With Jesus’ introduction, Grealish switched to the centre-forward’s role as Bernardo Silva and Sterling combined very well through the inside-right channel.

Burnley also had a few chances, but their hopes of scoring a goal faded when Maxwel Cornet could not meet Ashley Barnes’ cross with only Ederson to beat. The second half remained barren as City regained the top spot in the league table.