Guardiola’s ruthless machine gives former favorite Kompany a hard lesson | FA Cup

MManchester City had won the previous 10 games against Burnley with an aggregate score of 34-1. All of those games were against teams managed by Sean Dyche, a very different style of team to that created by Vincent Kompany but, six goals later, some things never change. The Belgian has transformed the Clarets from an austere but effective team into an exciting and free-wheeling side, but the reality of what he will face next season became apparent on Saturday night.

Promotion is essentially guaranteed, it would take an almighty death to give up their 16-point lead over third with one game less in the final two months of the season. Their dominance in the league allowed Kompany to choose a nearly complete squad at the Etihad. The fans greeted him by serenading their former captain, but it was a commercial event for Kompany.

Unfortunately for Burnley and their manager, hat-trick lovers Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne are a few notches above their usual opponents. The visitors offered the same intensity to what they gave in their 37 early league games but quickly found they needed more than speed work and clever positional play to keep City at bay.

Burnley scored at the rate of two a game in the Championship, while having the best defense but that counted for nothing. City are likely to make a mistake when switching at the back and the constant pressure from Burnley’s forward line meant they made mistakes, providing openings for the Clarets but they couldn’t take advantage of them. when their few opportunities presented themselves.

Phil Foden, here under pressure from Nathan Tella, took advantage of the space left to him and netted Erling Haaland’s second goal. Photo: Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC/Getty Images

Dyche-era stalwarts Ashley Barnes, Jack Cork and Charlie Taylor may have had flashbacks to their Premier League days from the bench as they watched City enjoy 80 per cent possession in the opening 15 minutes. Burnley are used to having the majority of the ball but Kompany knew that wouldn’t be possible against the Premier League champions and are smart enough to realize a keen attitude would have left them too open against an elite side, deciding to go man to man on City to try to contain them.

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City were unable to break down Burnley with ease early on, leading to Pep Guardiola calling Haaland in the 24th minute for a sideline chat to provide instructions and an adjustment to his role to be last. man, having sometimes played deeper. in the opening quarter. It paid off when Julián Álvarez sent the ball past Haaland to bring the first home and he added a second through a precise cross from Phil Foden. These are hard lessons from coming up against one of the best teams in Europe. City took advantage of the space for a split second, with Álvarez and Foden able to use it without a second thought and Burnley unable to react.

It was a chance for Kompany to show that Burnley could take the plunge. When they come there will be more games like this and they have to accept their role as underdogs. By half-time, both teams had accumulated five shots, with Burnley having more on target, but City seized their two chances to show the difference in the final third. At full time, City had quadrupled their shot tally, while Burnley had a lone effort after the break as the chasm in class became plainly apparent.

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City’s dominance began to show more in the second half when Burnley paid for their efforts by conceding further goals. Hosts had more space to operate and they were more than happy to use it. Being able to produce Kompany’s high pace in the Premier League for 90 minutes, 38 times in a row, will be tough. He will improve the squad this summer but may need to take a more pragmatic approach against the top flight.

The loss was a stark achievement for Kompany after a nearly flawless season, but he knows it’s a learning curve for him and his players. He spent his last years at City learning from Guardiola and learned another valuable lesson from defeat. Kompany has five months to plan for the top flight but that might not be long enough to come up with a plan to stop Haaland and City.

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