Riyad Mahrez had a perfect outing against Burnley as his hattrick helped Manchester City complete a 5-0 rout over the Premier League visitors on Saturday.
Manchester City were on the front foot from the get-go against Burnley and were rewarded in the sixth minute as Kevin de Bruyne found Riyad Mahrez, who slotted it calmly past Burnley goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to open the scoring for the home side.
A brilliant Kyle Walker throw found Mahrez in the box once again and the Algerian showed some indomitable close ball control before slotting it into the far corner. Manchester City were 3-0 up before half-time as Kevin De Bruyne’s cross found Benjamin Mendy, who hit it first time into the far corner.
Manchester City were relentless in their attack and a neat build-up play saw Gabriel Jesus set up Ferran Torres for City’s fourth around the hour-mark. Burnley had one opportunity, with Jay Rodriguez forcing Ederson to make a routine stop. However, the linesman flagged for offside during that play.
Mahrez got his hattrick to complete another 5-0 rout – Burnley’s third consecutive 5-0 result away at Manchester City – thanks to neat Phil Foden cross from the left. Let us now take a look at how the individuals fared.
Ederson – 6
Did not have anything to do apart from that Jay Rodriguez effort. Saved it well, only for the shot to be flagged for offside. Had no problem in distribution, thanks to a lack of pressure from the Burnley side. A comfortable outing.
Kyle Walker – 8
Every time Walker ran down the right, he seemed to produce a threat to the Burnley goal. The throw-in assist for Mahrez’s second was a great spot from the English international, showing his presence of mind in such situations. Had a hand in Manchester City’s fourth goal as well, with his low cross finding Jesus in the box before the Brazilian teed up Torres for the goal.
John Stones – 7
Like Ederson, Stones did not have much to do but he did cover the aerial area pretty well. Won 5 headers, one fewer than Chris Wood, who had the highest number on the day. Was heavily involved in the buildup play from the back and kept it simple.
Ruben Dias – 6.5
Wasn’t as active as Stones and did not need to be. Tried to play more incisive passes from defence and succeeded more often than not. Was brought off in the 70th minute once the result was done and dusted, with the Champions League fixture in mind.
Benjamin Mendy – 7
Took his goal well, with a neat first-time finish on the half-volley. Spent most of the time attacking and did a good job going forward.
Rodri – 6.5
Kept things simple but did not have much to do with the attacks, with City surprisingly being more direct in most of their attacks compared to their normal recourse. Needs to be more authoritative in demanding situations.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
Made sure the play was silky smooth. Produced 2 key passes during the game and was crucial to the speed of City’s attacks. Exudes calmness in the midfield, which is necessary in the transition period that Pep Guardiola is overseeing, especially in terms of reshaping the midfield.
Riyad Mahrez – 10
2012 – Riyad Mahrez is the first player to score a hat-trick in a Premier League game whilst also creating 6+ chances since Santi Cazorla vs Reading in December 2012. Catalysts. #MCIBUR pic.twitter.com/HQrPhlxXlF
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 28, 2020
A perfect outing for Mahrez, who seems to have a knack for performing against Burnley. His hattrick means he has now scored 6 goals in his last three Premier League appearances against Burnley. Took all his goals well with impeccable finishing.
But, the highlight was his second, wherein he picked up the ball in the box on the right from Kyle Walker’s throw-in before dilly-dallying past defenders and slotting it into the far corner. Played 6 key passes as well and could have easily gotten an assist from it on any other day. What a sublime sight it is to see the Algerian on song!
Kevin de Bruyne – 9
Most Premier League assists since the start of last season:
25 – Kevin de Bruyne
15 – Andrew Robertson
14 – Trent Alexander-Arnold
Head and shoulders the best creator in the league. ? pic.twitter.com/Sr8ezVOtUg
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 28, 2020
The Belgian’s influence has grown, especially with David Silva no more in the squad and City lacking the regular presence of Sergio Aguero upfront. Found his teammates with ease, setting them up twice. Could have gotten a goal to himself but his shot hit the bar.
De Bruyne needs to keep on firing for Manchester City to charge towards the top in this festive period.
Ferran Torres – 7
Got on the scoresheet towards the second half, thanks to Gabriel Jesus, before being substituted. Torres needs to start being more clinical and Guardiola will hope the Spaniard can use this goal against Burnley as a spring.
Gabriel Jesus – 7.5
Jesus might not provide the same set of skills and finishing prowess as Aguero. However, the Brazilian’s ability to be part of the buildup play and attack makes him a complete forward. Jesus has the ability to link up well, which enables him to often act as a False Nine and draw defenders to allow his teammates to get into dangerous areas.
Would be happy with his assist for the Torres goal.
Fernandinho – 6
Kept things steady and going. Didn’t do anything flashy. Good to have minutes under his belt.
Phil Foden – 7
Came on and instantly found himself grafting in attack. Got the well-deserved assist for Mahrez’s third. Foden is pushing for a starting place in the squad with each impressive performance.
Eric Garcia – 6
Got some first-team minutes under his belt and will be a contender to start midweek in the Champions League. Guardiola needs to show more faith in Garcia to convince him to say amid interest from Barcelona.