If it had the air of a singular event for an icon of Manchester City’s previous, it was simply enterprise as regular for his or her present idol. Vincent Kompany made his first aggressive return to the Etihad Stadium since his sensational aim towards Leicester in 2019 and his sudden exit. He returned to the bottom along with his statue exterior and to the membership he helped flip into relentless winners.
And then, with valuable little romance and typical ruthlessness, Erling Haaland condemned City’s biggest captain to his heaviest defeat as Burnley supervisor. For the Clarets, who misplaced 5-0 on the Etihad 4 instances underneath Sean Dyche, it was a nonetheless heavier beating.
Kompany’s final act as a City participant, the day earlier than he introduced his departure, was to carry the FA Cup. With Pep Guardiola’s aspect within the semi-finals for the fifth time in six seasons, Ilkay Gundogan could be a part of him within the choose group of their FA Cup-winning skippers.
Haaland had damaged a 94-year-old file for many targets in a season for City with out discovering the online within the FA Cup – in mitigation, he had solely beforehand performed as soon as within the competitors – however he duly scored his sixth hat-trick of the marketing campaign and second in 4 days. With 42 targets earlier than the top of March, the Norwegian appears effectively on the best way to setting the type of marker just one participant might rival sooner or later: himself in subsequent seasons.
He has eight targets in his final two video games alone; that Leipzig, title contenders within the Bundesliga, conceded 5 to him suggests Burnley did effectively as compared. The competitor in Kompany mentioned he would have relished the problem of dealing with Haaland. His centre-backs could not have shared these sentiments and had been in all probability relieved when Guardiola substituted his prime scorer with half an hour to go.
Burnley have acquired a repute because the City of the Championship as they search to go their method to promotion. Guardiola’s affect has rubbed off on Kompany. And but, if the scoreline recommended the grasp outwitted the apprentice, the extra prosaic actuality could be that the senior man had Haaland. He remodeled the tie with two targets in 4 minutes. By the second half, once they had been rampant, it felt irrelevant that City had been unimpressive for the primary half hour. Burnley had restricted them to at least one shot, and even that was not on the right track.
But goalscorers change matches. Kompany performed with essentially the most prolific in City’s historical past, in Sergio Aguero, however Haaland is hanging at a fee that even the Argentinian couldn’t handle. His 42 targets have are available simply 37 outings.
The first, and most essential, towards Burnley got here from an unconventional one-two. City beat the Clarets’ press as Stefan Ortega launched a protracted ball that Haaland headed right down to Julian Alvarez. He then span and raced on to the return ball, slotting his shot previous Bailey Peacock-Farrell. As Leipzig can testify, he can flip one into two shortly and a supremely calm end from Phil Foden’s centre adopted quickly after. His third got here from the rebound after Foden hit the put up.
Alvarez tapped within the fourth from Kevin de Bruyne’s low centre and, two days after signing a brand new contract, doubled his tally after a pointy flip left defender Ameen Al-Dakhil on his bottom. The names indicated Guardiola confirmed Kompany no mercy. He retained Haaland and De Bruyne whereas his seven modifications included turning to the World Cup-winning striker Alvarez, plus the generational expertise Foden, who was concerned in three targets.
The exception to the rule among the many goalscorers was the substitute Cole Palmer, who was left with a easy end after goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell parried Foden’s cross. By then it felt a footnote that the day’s first save got here from Ortega, denying Lyle Foster.
It fashioned a part of a shiny starting from the guests, after a second to savour for his or her supervisor. Kompany, whose shock departure as a participant denied the City followers an opportunity to say farewell, emerged to take the applause of all 4 stands and to hug Guardiola. Then he took up a touchline vigil which will have grown more and more painful; maybe unsurprisingly, and the realist in Kompany had spoken of the huge gulf between the highest of the Premier League and the Championship summit.
Even as a top-flight staff, Burnley tended to battle towards City. The mixture rating of their final 11 conferences now stands at 40-1. Dyche’s model of soccer hardly ever proved profitable towards City. Kompany’s Burnley have one other ethos. They tried to press excessive, man-marked in midfield and induced errors. None of which mattered when Haaland received going. As a participant, Kompany might benefit from the instances City scored six, particularly in a Manchester derby. As a supervisor, he had reasonably much less to have a good time.