Haaland Bags Brace As Man City Begin Title Defence In Style

Erling Haaland returned in the old routine with a display of finishing as Manchester City opened the defence of their Premier League title with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Burnley.

The last season highest goal scorer, who hit 52 goals as City won the Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, took only 185 seconds to open his account for the new campaign, striking a blow from which the newly promoted Clarets never recovered.

Haaland pounced in the area when Rodri headed down Kevin de Bruyne’s cross, then curled in a magnificent left-foot strike into the top corner beyond Burnley keeper James Trafford after 36 minutes to effectively end the contest.

Newly promoted Burnley, roared on by a passionate home crowd, never gave up but City’s control grew more emphatic as the game went on, Rodri turning home the third with 15 minutes left after the home defence failed to clear a free-kick.

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It all ended very comfortably for City, their night only marred by another injury for De Bruyne, who limped off after only 23 minutes to be replaced by summer signing Mateo Kovacic.

Burnley had Anass Zaroury sent off in injury time, after a the video assistant referee review, for a dangerous lunge on Kyle Walker.