‘Top scorer’ Elling Holland (23-Man City) scored a multi-goaler (one or two) from the first game. He’s been outstanding in goal since the season opener. Man City opened the EPL with a win. Promoted Burnley manager Mauricio Pochettino lost his first match of the season against his mentor, City manager Pep Guardiola.
City won the opening match of the 2023-2024 English Premier League season 3-0 at Turf Moor in Burnley, England, on Wednesday (ET). Holland scored two goals and Rodri added a goal and an assist. According to the EPL website, City has won its league opener in 12 of the last 13 seasons. City’s quest for a fourth straight regular-season title got off to a clean start.
City took the lead (1-0) in the first four minutes through Holland. The early goal gave them control of the game. The first away game against a promoted team went more smoothly than expected. De Bruyne’s cross was headed on by Rodri, and Holland tapped in with a non-stop left-footed shot. It was an excellent display of concentration and determination from Holland. City lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Holland up front, Foden, Alvarez, and Bernardo Silva at the back, Rodriguez and De Bruyne in defensive midfield, Rico Luis, Ake, Akanji, and Walker at the back, and Ederson in goal. Starting center back Ruben Dias is out of the lineup due to illness, which means Ake moves to central defense.
Burnley applied strong forward pressure after the first goal. They harassed City’s rear buildup. Burnley lined up in a 5-4-1 formation. Amoudoune, Foster, Cullen, Berger, and Coleoche up front, and Bittinho, Beyer, O’Shea, Aldahil, Roberts, and Trafford in goal. Burnley opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Koloache’s right-footed shot sailed over the top of the City goal. City had a header from a set piece by Rodri saved by the Burnley goalkeeper in the 17th minute. Burnley had a left-footed shot by Amoudoune headed straight at the City keeper in the 18th minute.
City made a big change in the 22nd minute. De Bruyne, the centerpiece of City’s midfield, felt unwell and the medical team was called in. De Bruyne took off his captain’s armband and handed it to Walker. Kovacic came on as an early joker. After De Bruyne’s departure, City’s buildup at the back was disjointed. City had a series of passing problems. Passes were intercepted, leading to a quick counterattack by Burnley. The tide of the game seemed to be turning in Burnley’s favor. Burnley broke through in the 29th minute when Foster’s right-footed shot went just wide of the City goal.
City’s deficit was erased as Silva played in the center of the field. The momentum shifted back in Burnley’s favor. City scored their second goal (2-0) in the 36th minute through Holland. It was a Walker-Alvarez-Holland goal. Walker’s cross was headed in by Alvarez, and Holland rattled the Burnley net with a non-stop left-footed shot. It was a stunning goal from Holland, who led the EPL with 36 goals last season.
Burnley went ahead in the 37th minute when Foster’s crucial shot was blocked by City’s Akanji. Down 0-2, Burnley were unable to apply any pressure to City’s slick passing play. The tide had completely turned in City’s favor. In fact, Burnley’s passes were often broken up by City’s pressure. City went into halftime with a 2-0 lead thanks to Holland’s multi-goal performance.
The start of the second half was no different than the end of the first. City took control of the game. Burnley’s first priority was to stop City’s onslaught. Burnley were unable to apply the same intense pressure as they had in the first half. They were out of gas, and their pressing was no longer working.
City’s best chance came in the ninth minute of the second half when Rodriguez’s mid-range shot was saved by the Burnley keeper. From the ensuing corner, Rodriguez’s header was blocked by a diving Burnley keeper. Burnley brought on Larsen and Zaruri as jokers in the 16th minute of the second half, as manager Mauricio Pochettino made a change to his attacking lineup.
With a two-goal lead, City played a steady game. They didn’t try to be too aggressive. They mixed short and long passes. When Burnley brought their full line up, they immediately targeted the space behind them with long passes.
Burnley brought on Benson as a joker in the 27th minute to add more weight to their attack. City scored their third goal (3-0) in the 30th minute through Rodri. Following a set-piece, Rodriguez struck with his right foot in a chaotic situation in the box. It was the de facto game-winner. With a huge lead, Pep pulled out his substitutes. Victory was assured. He brought on Gervinho, Laporte, and Palmer as jokers. Gervinho, a center back who recently joined City, made his City debut. He dropped Holland, who had scored two goals.
City took the lead in the 40th minute when Alvarez’s right-footed shot went straight at the opposition goalkeeper. Foden’s left-footed shot also went wide of the post. Burnley brought on Brownhill and Redmond in the final minute of stoppage time, and it was all-out war. Burnley pushed for an equalizer but came up empty. They were unable to create any quality scoring chances. Burnley were unable to score a single goal. Burnley even got a red card for a dangerous tackle on Walker. The game ended with a 3-0 victory for City.
European statistical site Fourscore.com gave City’s Holland an 8.6 rating, Rodri a career-high 8.7, and Alvarez a 7.9. Rodri was named man of the match (MOM). Silva was rated 6.3, Foden 7.0, De Bruyne 6.6, Kovacic 6.9, Lewis 6.8, Ake 7.7, Akanji 7.2, Walker 6.8, and Ederson 7.0. Burnley’s players were generally rated lower. Amoudouni was rated 6.6, O’Shea 5.8, Roberts 5.9, Berger 5.8, and Koloce 5.7.
The pundits had nothing but praise for City. Gary Neville, a former Man United legend, said: “City showed why they are champions. City’s second half was far too comfortable.” The BBC wrote: “City’s league title defense got off to the perfect start as they swept aside promoted Burnley. City went top of the league and Holland scored twice to take the lead (in the top scorer’s race). Will it be the same at the end of the season? Former England legend and pundit Michael Owen said: “Holland was a completely different player today. He didn’t take many shots on goal, he didn’t need to. He stayed in front of the goal. The second goal in particular was very impressive. He had a chance from the right side of the box and it was a great decision. It wasn’t easy, but he made it look so easy.”
Man of the match Holland told Sky Sports after the game: “I had two months without football and it’s a good start again. Of course, it’s a good start with a win. It was the first game of the season and we controlled the game well. We played very well. If you look at it as a marathon, it’s the starting point. You don’t have to stress, you just have to be relaxed and focused.” On his second goal: “Alvarez created space in the box. I was close to the goal. I knew that if the ball came to me, I would finish it. I finished well,” he said.
Pep Guardiola said: “We started well. We scored early and then we struggled a bit, but as the game went on we got better and better. Unfortunately, De Bruyne got injured again. It’s the same one from the last Champions League. “What I talked to Holland about (after the half-time whistle) was the passing. He wanted to send the ball into the back of the defense, but it didn’t go that way. I told him that sometimes you have to be patient and wait for the right time.” Holland was not discouraged. The first game against a promoted team is always difficult. We were lucky to score the first goal early,” he said.
“We had five players play their first game for the club today, one of them making his first start,” said head coach Patrice Kompany. Overall, we created a lot of chances. We knew the first game would be difficult. You have to take the positive things. It’s not a good feeling because we lost, but we know we’re improving. We will definitely have difficult moments this season. We are getting stronger.”바카라사이트
City’s next game is against Sevilla (Spain) on Sunday in the UEFA Super Cup. City were European Champions League winners last season, while Sevilla were Europa League champions. This is City’s chance to lift their first trophy of the season. City just lost to Arsenal in the Community Shield (Super Cup) on penalties. Burnley’s next opponent is Aston Villa.