Erling Haaland grabbed another opening day double as Manchester City swept Vincent Kompany’s Burnley aside on the opening day of the new season.
Haaland took less than four minutes to open his account for the season, adding a second nine minutes before the break to emulate his debut for City at West Ham last season. Rodri, who scored the winning goal in the Champions League final, added a third 15 minutes from time to condemn the Premier League new boy to defeat.
It was a bitter-sweet victory for City and the travelling supporters, who gave Kompany a hero’s welcome upon appearing at Turf Moor. The blue legend guided Burnley back to the top flight at the first attempt, but the home side knew this would be a baptism of fire against the treble champions, who showed their determination to retain their Premier League crown.
City have only added Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol to their ranks, whilst allowing Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez to leave the club. However, they showed no signs of missing either as they went about their way to put their hosts to the sword.
City’s Norwegian star hadn’t touched the ball in the opening exchanges, but the first time he did, for City keeper James Trafford was picking the ball out of his net. Kevin de Bruyne’s deep cross into the area was headed back across goal by Rodri, and Haaland was on hand to fire home.
It was the perfect start for City, who continued to dominate the home side, but then lost de Bruyne to injury after just 23 minutes. Involved in the build-up to another City attack, the Belgian star pulled up and immediately signalled to the bench to come off. Kovacic replaced him and slotted seamlessly into de Bruyne’s position, highlighting by Pep Guardiola was determined to sign the Croatian star.
Burnley had their chances and will need to be taking some of them if they are to survive a tough Premier League season. Zeki Amdouni had the home side’s best chance after pouncing on a mistake by Rico Lewis, but Rodri was back to make the challenge before Amdouni could get his shot away.
City reacted to that moment by going 2-0 up in the 36th minute. Kyle Walker was released down the City right and his cross was met by Julian Alvarez. With no way to goal, the Argentine laid it off to Haaland, who fired home, left footed off the underside of the bar. It was a spectacular finish to send the blues two clear at half-time.
The blues followed a similar vein in the second half, with Rodri being denied twice by Trafford. But the midfielder refused to be denied a goal and, in the 75th minute, the Spaniard got his reward. A free-kick on the left was aimed towards Nathan Ake, but a scramble in the area saw Burnley fail to clear, and Rodri fired home from six yards.
It wasn’t his usual long range strikes or bullet headers, which he has become accustomed to scoring at City, but they all count and the midfielder put the blues 3-0 up.
Burnley’s night was compounded when Anass Zaroury received his marching orders in the final moments for a cynical foul on Walker, but the night belonged to the blues.
Final Score: Burnley 0-3 Manchester City