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Manchester City 5 Burnley 0

Clarets exit FA Cup as ruthless City cruise into round four

26 January 2019

The Clarets saw their FA Cup run clinically cut off at the fourth-round stage as Manchester City’s insatiable appetite for success swept them into the last 16.

Sean Dyche’s men couldn’t have been handed a tougher draw as they were sent to the Etihad Stadium for the second season running.

And once again there was to be no upset as the Premier League champions showed their class to cruise through with goals from Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, a Kevin Long own-goal and a Sergio Aguero penalty to continue their pursuit of a trophy that has eluded them since 2011.

With only Jesus’ 16th-goal of the season separating the sides at the break, things might have been different had Matej Vydra accepted a gift-wrapped chance to level for a much-changed Burnley line-up just after half-time.

But there was always the feeling City had plenty in reserve as they demonstrated with three goals in a 20-minute burst after Vydra’s miss and the ability to bring off the bench David Silva and Aguero, who rounded off a one-sided contest with the fifth goal from the penalty spot five minutes from the end.

As expected, the Clarets shuffled their pack just four days before they’re back in Manchester to face United in the Premier League, where trying to secure safety remains the number-one objective.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was here to watch, although what he will have learned is debatable as Burnley went with different personnel and an altered formation to fit the occasion.

Only James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Jeff Hendrick and former United schoolboy Dwight McNeil from the side that drew at Watford a week ago, to make it five games unbeaten, were on starting duty again.

And Taylor played in an unfamiliar right-sided role as the Clarets tried to nullify a City side that racked up their 100th goal of the season the game before last.

With plenty of men behind the ball, the visitors were determined not to make it easy for the Carabao Cup finalists who are still in the hunt for four trophies this time around.

That was reflected in a powerful line-up showing just four changes from their last league encounter as Pep Guardiola made his intentions clear.

And City’s ability to pick holes even in a congested penalty area saw them break the deadlock with a quarter of the tie gone.

Nick Pope had made two fine saves to deny Silva with his feet and then Danilo with an outstretched left arm.

But the England international, playing his second successive round of the competition since ending his lengthy injury absence, was powerless to keep out an effort from Jesus after the striker had been allowed to wriggle free from near the touchline and cut back to fire into the roof of the net via the foot of the Clarets’ keeper.

The Clarets - with McNeil and Robbie Brady, back from a three-match ban, looking to support lone striker Vydra - hadn’t offered much in response.

But at just 1-0 down they were still in the tie and three minutes into the second half they should have been level.

Nicolas Otamendi gifted the ball to Vydra as he tried to dribble out from the back.

Vydra was left with a clear run at goal and just Ederson to beat but, betraying an apparent lack of confidence, steered his shot into the side netting.

And four minutes later it was seemingly game over as City broke clear to double their lead, De Bruyne releasing Bernardo Silva to cut inside and send a shot past Pope via a telling touch off Stephen Ward.

Pope then denied Jesus a second and Riyad Mahrez saw a long-range effort deflected just wide, but with an hour gone City added a third in thrilling style as they ruthlessly put the result beyond any doubt.

Ederson started the move with a perfectly flighted pass from his goalmouth which sprung a City counter-attack majestically finished by De Bruyne with a rasping drive into the bottom corner.

De Bruyne then delivered the cross which Long diverted into his own net to make it 4-0 as City smelled blood.

And the Clarets’ defender then dragged back Silva following a breakdown in communications with Pope to allow Aguero to convert the spot-kick which saw City repeat the margin of victory they enjoyed when the sides in the league in October.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo, Fernandinho (Silva 66), De Bruyne (Foden 74), Gundogan, Mahrez, Jesus (Aguero 74), Bernardo Silva. Substitutes: Sterling, Laporte, Sane, Muric.

Booked: Walker

Burnley: Pope, Taylor, Long, Tarkowski, Gibson, Ward, McNeil, Hendrick, Defour (Westwood 77), Brady (Cork HT), Vydra (Wood 62). Substitutes: Mee, Vokes, Barnes, Hart.

Referee: Graham Scott

Attendance: 50,121


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