Haaland and Rodri fire Man City to victory at Burnley

11 Aug 2023
Burnley v Manchester City

Champions start title defence with 3-0 win as Guardiola overcomes his former captain Kompany

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Manchester City started their defence of the Premier League title with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.

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It took no time at all for Erling Haaland to pick up from where he left off last season as the Man City striker scored with his first touch in the fourth minute from Rodri's knockdown.

The exact time of his strike was three minutes and four seconds, making it the quickest goal scored on the opening day since Paul Pogba netted for Manchester United against Leicester City in 2018/19.

See: Fastest EVER goals at the start of a season

Haaland found the net again in the 36th minute with an emphatic finish into the top left corner after Julian Alvarez had teed him up in the penalty area.

Having also hit a brace at West Ham United on the opening weekend last season, Haaland became only the second player to score two or more goals in a team's first match of a Premier League season in consecutive campaigns, after Didier Drogba in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Rodri then put the icing on the cake 15 minutes from time when he netted from close range, both scoring and assisting in a league match for the first time ever, in his 236th appearance.

Burnley were reduced to 10 men late on when Anass Zaroury was sent off for serious foul play after a bad tackle on Kyle Walker, with a straight red card being given following a VAR review.

The only thing that will have put a dampener on Man City's victory was an injury to Kevin De Bruyne, who lasted just 23 minutes before having to go off.

See: Guardiola's update on De Bruyne's injury

De bruyne

In Vincent Kompany's first match as a Premier League manager, and facing his former club, he would have been pleased with many aspects of Burnley's display.

In glimpses they showed some attacking promise and continuously attempted to play possession football. But City proved too strong.

The champions could be in for a much stronger test in their next league match as they host last season's fourth-placed side Newcastle United on Saturday 19 August.

Burnley were due to play Luton Town next week, but that match has been postponed due to ongoing work at Luton's stadium, Kenilworth Road. The Clarets will next be in action on 27 August against Aston Villa.

Coming up on Saturday

Arsenal will begin the first Saturday of the 2023/24 season looking to go one better than last season and win the title as they take on Nottingham Forest at Emirates Stadium.

Newcomers Luton and Sheffield United will take on Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace respectively.

The final match of the day features two teams with hopes of qualifying for Europe, as Newcastle United entertain Villa.

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