Manchester City slammed nine goals past Burton Albion at the Etihad on Wednesday night to equal Pep Guardiola’s biggest win as a manager
The Citizens took the lead within five minutes when David Silva picked up space and chipped a lovely ball over the Burton defence and right onto the head of Kevin De Bruyne.
A short spell of Burton pressure saw Marcus Harness blaze a great chance over the bar – a miss the visitors were made to pay for as Gabriel Jesus bagged twice and Oleksandr Zinchenko overhit a cross to make it 4-0 to Man City going into halftime.
City didn’t slow down in the second half, with Gabriel Jesus completing his hat trick in the 57th minute and substitute Phil Foden adding a sixth shortly after. Another Jesus goal, as well as strikes from Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez, rounded off the scoring and completed the embarrassment for Burton.
Here are five things we learned from Manchester City 9-0 Burton Albion.
1. Money talks
In a contest between a Manchester City squad that cost £530m and a Burton Albion squad that cost £1m, there was only going to be one winner, wasn’t there?
The Brewers were 1-0 down within five minutes and although they did miss a golden chance to level the scores when Harness ballooned an effort over the bar in the 12th minute, they never looked like matching City.
Two goals from Gabriel Jesus and a sliced Zinchenko cross made it 4-0, while the former bagged another two in the second half. Further strikes from Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez makes Burton’s income from a sellout crowd in the second leg the only real thing worth carrying this tie on for.
2. Pep loves the cups
On Sunday, Pep Guardiola fielded the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane his starting XI as City smashed seven past Rotherham.
On Wednesday, Sane and De Bruyne retained their places, while Riyad Mahrez replaced Sterling to complete what was another incredibly strong line-up against Burton.
You can feel sorry for the two lower league sides and bemoan a lack of contest in both games all you want, but Guardiola recently spoke of a desire to remain in all four competitions for as long as possible this season – he has been rewarded for his commitment with two ruthless performances.
3. Brewers pay a heavy price for a glaring miss
With the score still only at 1-0, Burton did incredibly well to get into the Man City box in the 12th minute, moving the ball from right to left, before cutting it back across to the unmarked Marcus Harness at the far post.
The 22-year-old should have had the simple task of slotting the ball away past Arijanet Muric to level the tie and keep Nigel Clough’s side in with a fighting chance.
However, Harness looked like a rabbit in the headlights when the chance presented itself, and instead rocketed the ball over the bar and high into the stands, ending any hope of Burton remaining in this contest heading into the second half, let alone the second leg.
20 minutes later, they were 4-0 down and eventually lost 9-0.
4. De Bruyne takes another step toward full fitness
Watch out Premier League, KDB is on his way back.
The Belgian wizard completed another 58 minutes on Wednesday, opening the scoring with a lovely header after five minutes and looking generally menacing whenever he had the ball.
De Bruyne carved the Burton back line open on a number of occasions with his laser-precise passing, while the match fitness he has gained from these last two cup ties will only accelerate his comeback in the Premier League, where he could be vital for the Citizens.
That can only spell danger for the rest of the Premier League.
5. Gabriel Jesus fires Pep Guardiola to a record-breaking win
Dig deep enough and you’ll probably find a whole host of records broken during City’s mauling of Burton on Wednesday.
Most poignantly, though, was the fact that the 9-0 win delivered Pep Guardiola’s biggest win as Manchester City manager, immediately replacing their 7-0 demolition of Rotherham at the weekend.
Gabriel Jesus has bagged his second hat-trick of the season:
⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs. Shakhtar
⚽️⚽️⚽️ vs. Burton
His first trebles for the club. 🎩 pic.twitter.com/l7EOrlc87P
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 9, 2019
Secondly, this win actually equals the Spaniard’s biggest ever victory as a manager, with his Barcelona side beating Hospitalet 9-0 in a Copa del Rey match back in December 2011.
Gabriel Jesus was absolutely on fire, grabbing four of those goals and showing unbelievable composure as the chances fell to him. The Brazilian has now taken his tally to 10 in his last seven starts and has scored four goals in a game for the first time in his career.