Manager Pep Guardiola praised his Manchester City side for their “beautiful, beautiful goals” as they remained top of the Premier League with a convincing win over Burnley.
Sparkling finishes from Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho and Riyad Mahrez, in particular, caught the eye as City maintained their 100% home record this season.
“After we scored the second goal and third quickly it was much easier,” Guardiola said.
“The finish from Bernardo was not easy. The goals were so outstanding – beautiful, beautiful goals – and the chances we created, and it’s three more points.”
Guardiola’s side were briefly knocked off the summit by Chelsea’s draw with Manchester United earlier on Saturday, but opened up a two-point lead before Liverpool moved level on points with a 1-0 win at Huddersfield in the late kick-off.
City’s procession towards the three points was initially held up by Clarets keeper Joe Hart, making his first return to Etihad Stadium after ending his 12-year stay in the summer.
Hart, a huge crowd favourite during his spell at the club, made superb first-half stops to deny Sergio Aguero and David Silva, but was powerless to stop Aguero firing home as the duo combined to round off a neat passing move. Hart’s afternoon was to get a lot worse.
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Burnley barely threatened before half-time but their hopes were only truly extinguished when City added two more goals in two minutes shortly before the hour mark.
There was some controversy about City’s second goal, which came after Leroy Sane went down in the area under a challenge by Jack Cork.
Referee Jon Moss waved play on but the Burnley defence stopped, allowing Silva to retrieve the ball before it ran out of play and cross for Silva to sweep home.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche and his players continued to protest as the game resumed, although it was unclear whether they felt the game had been stopped, or that the ball had gone behind before Silva reached it.
It clearly played on the Clarets’ minds, however, and their usual defensive organisation was nowhere to be seen when, seconds later, a corner was cleared as far as Fernandinho on the edge of the area and he found a sublime finish.
From that point, the game was over as a contest, although the City fans still had more reasons to celebrate, firstly when a fit-again Kevin de Bruyne appeared off the bench for his first appearance since the opening weekend of the season.
There were more goals to come as Fernandinho teed up Riyad Mahrez to curl home a superb fourth goal late on, and Sane converted a Benjamin Mendy cross.
Hart makes unhappy return
Hart, 31, had to contend with Cardiff fans chanting “England’s number four” at him during Burnley’s last away game, but got a much warmer reception on his return to his former home.
Even Guardiola, who loaned him out for two seasons before selling him last summer, wrote some affectionate words about the England international in his programme notes.
Hart, who won every major domestic honour during his time at City, was given a standing ovation by the home fans before the game, but the occasion will not be remembered for his fine saves to keep out Aguero’s acrobatic volley or Silva’s close-range header.
Hart would have been hoping for a clean sheet that became his trademark during his time at City – he managed 82 on home turf alone.
Instead, on his 180th appearance here, and his first as an opposition player, he conceded five goals at Etihad Stadium for the first time.
“There is a feeling of frustration in my chest right now,” Hart said. “The crowd reaction was nice but I came here as a Burnley player. It was far from a perfect day.”
However, there was little he could do about any of the goals, with Burnley’s usually solid defence looking particularly brittle in the second half, and collapsing completely by the end.