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Manchester City 4-1 Burnley: 3 Things We Learned

A few takeaways from City’s FA Cup third round win

Manchester City v Burnley - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

1 - Manchester City have become more clinical from set pieces

One aspect of this season that seems to be going unnoticed is how well City are converting set pieces into goals. This is not to say they are just lumping the ball into the box and hoping for a header, but rather that the forwards are making clever runs and the midfielders have the passing accuracy to find them.

Sergio Agüero’s first goal from Ilkay Gundogan’s quick free kick was a testament to this improvement and adds another string to City’s already strong bow.

2 - Pep Guardiola is taking the FA Cup seriously

With just one youngster starting and Cluadio Bravo in goal, the starting lineup was nearly full strength. David Silva, Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling all started as Guardiola signalled his intent for this tournament.

Bearing in mind City have a League Cup semi-final to play in midweek it would have been normal to see more rotation, but Guardiola opted to play one of his strongest teams in this game. Maybe this was to do with the bigger challenges Premier League Burnley could pose, and the quality from City’s strongest team was clear for all to see.

3 - John Stones is still a little off the pace

Having just come back from a length injury, it is expected that John Stones will take some time to get back to his best. This game was evidence of that as he committed a mistake similar to ones he made in his first season. Hopefully though, this is a one-off due to rust and Stones will be back to his best for the Premier League visit to Anfield next week.