Alvarez’s brace sends Man City second with win over Burnley.

Julian Alvarez celebrated his 24th birthday with two goals to help Manchester City to a 3-1 win over Burnley.

Kevin De Bruyne captained the side, grabbing an assist on his first league start since August, while Erling Haaland came off the bench for his first appearance since 6 December, as City extended their unbeaten Premier League run to six matches, winning five.

here was a warm reception for Burnley manager Vincent Kompany, a former title-winning captain at Man City and club legend who has a statue in his honour outside the Etihad Stadium.

But Kompany watched his side fall behind after only 16 minutes, when Alvarez produced a close-range header from Matheus Nunes’s dinked cross.

Six minutes later, Alvarez added his second. De Bruyne’s clever pass from a free-kick caught the Burnley defence off-guard and allowed the striker to clip his effort over the advancing James Trafford.

In setting up City’s second goal, De Bruyne claimed his 104th assist in the competition to move above Wayne Rooney and go third in the all-time chart.

Burnley responded well and almost pulled one back just before the break, but Lyle Foster curled his effort narrowly wide of a post.

City started the second half far stronger than they did the first and were rewarded with a third goal just 24 seconds after the restart, as Phil Foden cut the ball back to Rodri on the edge of the area and he fired into the bottom corner.

There was a standing ovation on 69 minutes for Haaland, who came on in place of De Bruyne, and the Norwegian missed two chances late on.

Burnley grabbed a consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time, when David Datro Fofana darted to the byline and pulled a low cross back for Ameen Al Dakhil to bundle in his first Premier League goal.

The result moves City on to 46 points, the same total as Arsenal, whom they are above on goal difference. Liverpool’s win over Chelsea means City remain five points off the leaders.

Burnley remain 19th, on 12 points, seven from safety.


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