Man City 6 Burnley 0: Haaland puts another hat-trick in the sword for the league leaders in the FA Cup quarter-finals

T started with a hug and a handshake — and ended with a bloody nose and a dose of harsh reality.

Welcome back Vincent. Let’s not forget who is the master and who is the disciple here, right?

Standing ovations from the fans who have adored him for 11 years and the warmest hugs from Pep Guardiola ahead of this sixth-round showdown.

Then an end to the genius and a jab to the jugular as Erling Haaland led the throat attack and it all became just another day in the office for Guardiola and his City slickers.

And a painful slap in the face for Kompany’s Clarets, which is what awaits them when they are back in the Premier League’s thin atmosphere.

In fact, it got so gruesome in the end, you almost expected a towel to swim over from the Burnley shelter.

If referee John Brooks had had any sympathy, he would have quit so early. An FA Cup tie that was real competition for over half an hour finally turned into a show.

In the end, City were so up front and Burnley so intimidated that the home side could have finished for bullying.

If it were an audition for which von Kompanys Clarets would be willing to accompany him on his journey back to the promised land next semester, you would have to say that not many would have passed.

To be honest, for the past 33 minutes they must have been wondering what all the fuss about the Premier League, City and that supposed goal machine called Haaland is about.

Two devastatingly clinical first half minutes told them exactly what…drop your guard for a split second when he’s around and his curtains.

So suddenly half-time knocking all around, because a finger pointing to who disappeared where and when. Haaland does that to the side.

Twice they gave him half a meter in the first half. Both times he punished her in the deadliest way. They did it again in the second half and you know what? The same again.

A cruel nudge in the ribs for Kompany and his crew as well, that although you can get away with it in the championship, you don’t stand a chance at this level.

Take City’s opener, for example. A direct ball through the middle from Julian Alvarez and Haaland was through to Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

A shoulder dip, the suggestion of a flutter and a jab with the outside of his left shoe under the keeper.

The Norwegian was back two minutes later, Peacock-Farrell was beaten again and City were back in the FA Cup semi-finals.

This time the creation was a bit more artisanal, Kevin De Bruyne unleashing Phil Foden with a slide rule ball into Connor Roberts down the left.

Foden looked up, aimed and delivered the perfect low cross, which Haaland hit at just the right time to put in a side foot from close range.

So the game is over before halftime. Incredibly after Burnley appeared to have done the donkey work of weathering an early storm. That worked out fine.

Before they knew it, Haaland completed his sixth hat-trick of the season, taking his tally to EIGHT in two games and bagging another match point.

Again Foden was the creator, this time with a bubbly, low drive that hit the post and was clinically finished by the Norwegian’s one-touch finish.

As if to prove the rapid-fire first-half one-two wasn’t an isolated one, City then produced another to make it a four.

Riyad Mahrez and De Bruyne were the architects and Alverez the finisher, slamming into an empty net with clarets wide open.

So time for Haaland to take a break. All in all, not a bad week at work after the five Champions League goals he helped score against Leipzig on Tuesday.

And to think they all scoffed when it was first suggested he could reach 50 in his first season in England.

Last night’s nap has already brought him to 42. The way things are going, he’ll be disappointed if his eventual catch stops at “only” half a century.

City certainly didn’t stop there with his departure and Cole Palmer – the man who came on for Haaland – got into the action by volleying into an empty net.

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Alvarez ended the romp with a close sixth place before referee Brooks finally ended the punishment.

Although for Kompany you can kind of imagine it’s going to be a while before the pain subsides. Man City 6 Burnley 0: Haaland puts another hat-trick in the sword for the league leaders in the FA Cup quarter-finals


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