Erling Haaland continued his staggering season as his sixth hat-trick of the campaign helped emphatically fire Manchester City into the Emirates FA Cup semi-finals.
The prolific Norwegian racked up his remarkable 40th, 41st and 42nd goals since arriving from Borussia Dortmund last summer as Championship high-flyers Burnley suffered a tough 6-0 defeat on boss Vincent Kompany’s high-profile return to the Etihad Stadium.
The runaway second-tier leaders started the game brightly but were punished by two moments of magic from Haaland towards the end of the opening period.
- Manchester City v Burnley
- Saturday 18 March
City legend Kompany, who memorably steered the club to their first top-flight title for over 40 years in 2012, went all guns blazing with a strikingly attacking line-up while for the hosts, Guardiola opted for a firmly full strength side with Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden all starting.
The Clarets trio of Anass Zaroury, Nathan Tella and Vitinho have struck fear into Championship defences this season and continued to prove a handful for City throughout the opening stages.
But it was the defending Premier League champions who seized the lead midway through the first half when that man Haaland expertly poked home past Burnley goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
The City hitman was set free by Argentinian ace Alvarez and made no mistake with a fine finish to bring up the 40-goal landmark on his debut season in English football in style.
And he did not have to wait long to further add to his tally when Foden beat Connor Roberts down the left to tee up his clinical teammate with laser-like precision.
That left Burnley with a mountain to climb and despite Kompany throwing on Ashley Barnes and Jack Cork at the break, Haaland grabbed his third just before the hour mark following a fine, free-flowing move from the hosts.
Alvarez added a fourth just three minutes later before academy product Palmer, brought on in place of Haaland, got on the scoresheet with 20 minutes remaining.
And World Cup winner Alvarez completed the scoring shortly after to keep City’s hopes of a seventh Emirates FA Cup triumph – and first for four years – alive.
The quarter-finals continue on a jam-packed Sunday of action as League Two Grimsby travel to Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester United face Fulham and Sheffield United host Blackburn Rovers in an all-Championship affair.