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Man City go second as Alvarez brace sink Burnley

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Julian Alvarez celebrates him teammate Kevin de Bruyne

Julian Alvarez celebrated his 24th birthday with two goals as Manchester City cruised to a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to climb to second in the Premier League table.

It was a stroll for the champions as Rodri added a third goal to ensure a 13th win in a row against Burnley, during which time City have scored 46 goals and conceded two. Ameen Al Dakhil netted a late consolation for the visitors.

Pep Guardiola’s side moved to 46 points from 21 games, two behind leaders Liverpool, who play Chelsea later on Wednesday. Burnley are second bottom and seven points from safety having played a game more than Luton Town in 17th.

City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne made his first start for City since the opening day of the season and striker Erling Haaland came off the bench for the final 20 minutes after missing the previous 10 games due to injury.

“I think we started very good. We didn’t give them options. The third goal in the second half, very early, allowed us to play more at the very end,” Rodri told the BBC after the Premier League match.

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“I’m so happy for him (Alvarez). What a good way to celebrate his birthday, he’s been brilliant this season and, of course, he’s a goalscorer.”

It was freezing cold in Manchester, but a night to warm the heart of Guardiola following a routine win, players successfully returning from injury and a celebration of his former City captain Vincent Kompany, now Burnley’s manager, before kick-off.

But there would be little sentiment once the game started. City took 16 minutes to have an attempt on target, but they opened the scoring from it.
Matheus Nunes broke down the right flank and his cross from the byline provided a simple headed chance for Alvarez to score and the Argentine doubled his tally six minutes later.

De Bruyne played in Alvarez with a clever low pass from a free kick to catch the visitors unaware and Alvarez produced a cool finish.
It took City 25 seconds in the second half to increase the lead to 3-0.

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De Bruyne picked out Phil Foden on the right wing and his pass to Rodri on the edge of the box resulted in the Spaniard drilling the ball low into the bottom corner.

“I am very happy for Erling to come back, John (Stones) also, Kevin as well. We need all of them. We are stronger when we are all together,” Rodri said.
Burnley scored a scrappy consolation in the 93rd minute when Al Dakhil forced the ball over the line following debutant David Datro Fofana’s low cross into the six-yard box.

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