Manchester City opened the 2023-24 Premier League season with a comfortable 3-0 win at Burnley, with Erling Haaland scoring twice to reach 100 goals in the top five leagues. We look back at the key stats.
Here we go again.
The 2022-23 season unequivocally belonged to Manchester City and Erling Haaland as the Norwegian sharpshooter led his team to their first UEFA Champions League title as part of a stunning treble that also included Premier League and FA Cup success.
Together they set new benchmarks while Haaland saw record after record topple. Some had questioned whether City and Haaland were even a good fit; as it turned out, they were a match made in heaven.
Pre-season allowed fans, managers and players of other clubs to forget about the unrivalled brilliance of City for a couple of months, their achievements officially consigned to the past as every Premier League club returned to square one, optimism and excitement rekindled.
But Friday’s 2023-24 season opener was a chastening reminder to Premier League centre-backs of what’s to come, as Haaland put promoted Burnley – managed by City legend Vincent Kompany – to the sword in a 3-0 win at Turf Moor.
It took the Big Blonde Brute just three minutes and five seconds to put City in front. In the second phase of a corner, Kevin De Bruyne whipped a right-wing cross to the back post, and Rodri headed it back into the centre. Haaland was on his toes and snapped at the ball quicker than anyone else, finding the bottom-left corner.
It was the quickest goal in the opening game of a Premier League season for five years (Paul Pogba for Manchester United vs Leicester City, two minutes and 23 seconds) and ended a six-game goalless streak for Haaland.
Of course, last weekend’s Community Shield shootout defeat to Arsenal was part of that drought. Haaland had just 13 touches (none in the box) and didn’t manage a single shot before being withdrawn just past the hour; it was only the second time in his City career that Haaland had played longer than 45 minutes without registering at least one attempt.
It also drew parallels with his appearance in the 2022 Community Shield, his first match in English football. Haaland’s performance then was widely panned and it fuelled those suggesting he was a stylistic mismatch for City.
Of course, a week later he scored two on his Premier League debut… Well, history repeated itself here.
Haaland’s second goal at Turf Moor was a peach. The quietly effective Julián Álvarez received the ball just inside the box, but with his route to goal blocked off, he prodded the ball to his strike partner. It wasn’t a pass necessarily conducive to a first-time shot for the average striker, but Haaland is no average striker. He unleashed an emphatic left-footed curler first-time, and it crashed in off the crossbar.
It was the 100th goal in Europe’s top five leagues from 103 appearances for Haaland; since his Borussia Dortmund debut in January 2020, the only player with more goals is Robert Lewandowski (114 in 111 games), putting Haaland’s ruthlessness into context.
Amusingly, Haaland ended the half with as many goals as completed passes in a perfect encapsulation of how he operates – though it wasn’t all smiles at the break, with Guardiola and his striker engaging in an animated conversation as they headed for the dugout.
While the contest continued to be comfortable for City after the break, it was hardly men against boys, even with the average age of Burnley’s starting XI being their youngest ever in the Premier League at 23 years and 206 days.
Despite the rather daunting nature of their first task in the Premier League following promotion, Burnley didn’t look intimidated. They pressed well and aggressively, undoubtedly causing some problems as they recorded nine high turnovers – there were only five instances of teams registering more high regains against City last term.
But their six shots amounted to just 0.3 expected goals (xG), highlighting how they struggled to create much of real note, and there never really looked to be a way back even before Rodri made it 3-0 in the 75th minute.
Another set piece caused issues for the hosts as they failed to clear their lines, and Rodri – City’s match-winner in the Champions League final – slammed in from close range, scoring and assisting in a top-flight league game for the first time in his career (236 matches).
That was the signal to withdraw Haaland, his job well and truly done, Burnley – reduced to 10 men late on – dispatched with little fuss. There was to be no opening-day hat-trick, a feat only managed 10 times before, but he’ll have done enough to put the fear back into defences across the Premier League.
Here we go again, indeed.
On this page below, you’ll find the Opta chalkboard tool, which enables you to do your own post-match analysis on the Burnley vs Manchester City match.
Underneath the chalkboards, you can also see our live match editorial coverage from the game with the need-to-know facts and stats as they happened.
Burnley vs Manchester City Timeline
Full-Time: Burnley 0-3 Manchester City
No problems for Manchester City tonight, as they defeat Burnley 3-0 at Turf Moor to make a great start to their Premier League title defence.
Erling Haaland scored two goals as he attempts to beat his own record of 34 in a single Premier League season, set last term. Rodri added a third to cap off a fine personal performance, where he had the most touches and completed the most passes of any player on the pitch.
Burnley showed flashes of why they won the Championship with 101 points last season, but it was always going to be a struggle once they fell behind after just three minutes and five seconds.
93:52: First Red Card of 2023-24
He can’t really have any complaints.
Anass Zaroury is sent off for Burnley following an ugly sliding tackle on Kyle Walker, making contact with his calf rather than the ball (which was nowhere near). He was originally awarded a yellow card, but following a VAR review, Craig Pawson produced a red card for the Moroccan.
He is the first player to be sent off in a team’s opening game of a Premier League season since Morgan Schneiderlin 2019-20 for Everton.
74:51: 3-0 Manchester City
And now Rodri’s added a goal to his already brilliant performance.
There’s a goalmouth scramble, with Erling Haaland and Nathan Aké attempting to force the ball in, before it falls to the Spanish midfielder to hammer past James Trafford and make it 3-0 to City.
Not quite as good (or as important) as his UEFA Champions League final goal to defeat Inter Milan in June, but he won’t care.
68:10: Rodri – The Controller
Rodri’s had a great game for Manchester City tonight.
He’s become the first player to have 100 touches in a Premier League game this season, but seeing the ball as often as he has tonight is commonplace now. He’s also completed the most passes (91) and won possession with three tackles tonight (another team-high). Don’t forget his header assisted Haaland’s opening goal, too.
45:00: Second Half Begins
The second half begins. Can Burnley stage an unlikely comeback? Can Erling Haaland score an opening day hat-trick? Will Pep Guardiola ever be pleased?
Half-Time: Burnley 0-2 Manchester City
It’s been pretty comfortable for Man City, so far. They lead 2-0 at the half-time break thanks to Erling Haaland’s two goals – the second his 100th across the top five European leagues in just his 103rd appearance in the Bundesliga and Premier League combined.
He’s scored as many goals as he has completed passes (two) in that first half. Vintage Haaland.
Manchester City have dominated possession (73.6%), but Burnley have been able to get in positions to score – their 10 touches in the opposition box are actually one more than Man City’s total (nine).
35:08: Erling Haaland Makes it 2-0
2-0 Man City. 2-0 Erling Haaland.
That goal bring up 100 goals for Haaland within the top five European leagues since making his Borussia Dortmund debut in the Bundesliga on 18 January 2020. He’s hit that tally in just 103 games – phenomenal.
The only player to score more often across the top five European leagues in this timeframe is Robert Lewandowski (114).
22:55: De Bruyne Off Injured
Kevin De Bruyne limps off the field with an injury, just like in the UEFA Champions League final two months ago.
He assisted more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions last season (28) and started 2023-24 with an assist in the FA Community Shield versus Arsenal last weekend. He’s replaced by summer signing Mateo Kovacic and Kyle Walker takes the captain’s armband.
A huge blow for Man City.
3:05: 1-0 Manchester City!
Erling Haaland has scored with his first touch of the ball in the 2023-24 season, and it took him just three minutes and five seconds. He met a header from Rodri with his left foot to fire past James Trafford in the Burnley goal.
It’s the quickest goal in the opening game of a Premier League season since 2018-19, when Paul Pogba scored after just two minutes and 23 seconds for Man Utd against Leicester.
That ends a six-game scoreless streak for Haaland in all competitions for Man City.
1:00: Kick-Off at Turf Moor
Burnley kick-off and start the 2023-24 Premier League season.
19:40: The Foster Fact
Did you know that Lyle Foster becomes just the 16th different South African player to make a Premier League appearance, with this his debut in the competition tonight? Probably not, to be fair.
He’s still got a long way to go to reach the heights of Steven Pienaar (214 apps), Lucas Radebe (197), Aaron Mokoena (124) or Mark Fish (124), however.
What? You want more South African footballer facts from the Premier League era?
Well, only two South African players have made a Premier League appearance over the previous six seasons – Percy Tau played three times for Brighton in 2020-21 and Thakgalo Leshabela appeared just once in the competition that same season, for Leicester City.
The last Premier League goal scored by a South African? That’ll be via Pienaar for Everton against Hull City in October 2013 – just under 10 years ago. Foster will hope to end that wait, tonight.
19:05: Burnley vs Manchester City Lineups Are In
Pep Guardiola has announced his starting XI, and it’s fair to say there are a few relatively surprising picks.
For starters, it’s pretty difficult to work out exactly where everyone’s playing! For now, we’ve gone with a 4-2-3-1, but don’t be surprised if they set up differently once they’re out on the pitch.
Guardiola has made as many as five changes to the team that started the Community Shield. Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Dias, John Stones and Stefan Ortega are all replaced. In come Ederson, Rico Lewis, Nathan Ake, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden.
We expect Foden and Bernardo to occupy the flanks, with Álvarez getting forward to support Haaland in attack.
In the full-back berths, Lewis will likely start on the left given his dynamic makes him a good option to cut inside, while Walker will probably play from the right.
De Bruyne wasn’t fit to start last weekend but comes back into the XI here – Haaland likes this.
Burnley’s starting XI has an average age of just 23 years and 206 days, the youngest line-up they’ve ever named in the Premier League and the youngest a manager – Vincent Kompany – has ever named in his first game in the competition.
James Trafford, Sander Berge and Dara O’Shea all come into the Burnley starting XI after joining this summer. Trafford’s Premier League debut will come against the side that he moved to Turf Moor from for £15 million last month.
Josh Cullen starts in midfield – he was their most frequently used player across their title-winning Championship campaign last season (3,842 minutes).
18:45: Don’t Poke the Bear
One of the major talking points from last weekend’s FA Community Shield penalties defeat to Arsenal was Erling Haaland’s performance. Or lack or performance.
He was taken off after a little over an hour on the pitch having had the fewest touches on the pitch (13) at the time, and none of those had been in the penalty area; he averaged seven in the box over the course of last season.
Furthermore, it was only the second time for City that Haaland failed to even register a shot in a match that he featured for at least 45 minutes.
But, let’s look back 12 months. He was widely criticised for being anonymous in the 2022 Community Shield defeat to Liverpool. He then went on to topple record after record.
In fact, just a week after that game he scored twice on the opening day of the 2022-23 Premier League season, quickly and emphatically hushing the doubters.
It won’t surprise many if he repeats that feat tonight – could he even go one better? Were he to score a hat-trick, he’d be only the ninth player in Premier League history to net an opening-day treble.
18:30: The Opta Match Prediction
Using our brand new Opta Football Predictions hub, we can tell you that the Opta supercomputer currently gives Manchester City a 63% chance of winning the match tonight.
Burnley’s chance of victory stands at just 13% pre-match, but they have a 37% chance of getting at least a point – you have to feel they’d snap your hand off for that, considering they start against the reigning Champions.
18:15: Written in the Stars
Of course, one interesting aspect of this match is who will be leading Burnley from the dugout… There’s literally a statue of the Burnley manager outside Manchester City’s stadium.
Vincent Kompany played 265 times for Man City in the Premier League until departing in 2019, with only Joe Hart (266), Sergio Agüero (275) and David Silva (309) managing more.
Kompany would probably have been a lot closer to Silva’s record had he not been a regular in the physio’s room; across his final four seasons at City, 17 was the most Premier League appearances he made across a single campaign.
Nevertheless, his impact was significant as he played a key role in helping Manchester City establish themselves among the best in the Premier League.
It’s somewhat fitting then that his first game as a Premier League manager comes against City this evening. He has already faced them as a coach, however; Burnley were thrashed 6-0 away to City in the FA Cup as recently as March.
18:00: A Potential Shock on the Cards?
Having the reigning Premier League champions open the season is quite a rare occurrence. It’s only happened once before, back in 2016-17, and it was a real bump to earth for Leicester City.
Following their sensational 2015-16 Premier League title win, they travelled to newly-promoted Hull City for the opening game of the season. The core of their title-winning side was still around, with only the influential N’Golo Kanté moving on that summer.
Goals from Adama Diomande and Robert Snodgrass, either side of a Riyad Mahrez penalty, saw Hull run out 2-1 victors and kicked off a disappointing season for Leicester City – one that eventually saw Claudio Ranieri sacked in February 2017.
Reigning Premier League champions travelling to a newly-promoted side in the opening game of the season and losing… it couldn’t happen again, could it?
17:45: Pre-Game Burnley vs Manchester City Stats
Our fantastic UK data insights team (you may know them as OptaJoe) have prepared some need-to-know pre-match facts ahead of the Burnley vs Manchester City game:
• Burnley have won just one of their last 23 league matches against Manchester City (D6 L16) and have lost the last eight in a row by an aggregate score of 26-1.
• In all competitions, Man City have won 11 games in a row against Burnley, scoring 40 goals and conceding just one. They beat them 6-0 in the FA Cup last season, inflicting the Clarets’ heaviest defeat since losing 6-0 to City themselves in March 1999 in a league game.
• Burnley have won their opening game in just two of their eight previous Premier League seasons (D1 L5), winning 3-2 at reigning champions Chelsea in 2017-18 and 3-0 at home to Southampton in 2019-20.
• Manchester City have won their opening Premier League game in 12 of the last 14 seasons, with both exceptions coming against Tottenham Hotspur (0-0 in 2010-11 and 0-1 in 2021-22).
• This is the first time the reigning Premier League champions are playing the very first match of the season since 2016-17, when Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City lost 2-1 at newly promoted Hull City.
• This is Manchester City’s first Premier League match on a Friday since May 2021, when they won 4-3 at Newcastle United with Ferran Torres netting a hat-trick. Meanwhile, Burnley have never won or scored a Premier League goal on a Friday, drawing one and losing two of their three such matches.
• Burnley lost just one home league game in 2022-23 (W16 D6), going down 2-1 against QPR in April. However, as a Premier League side they’ve lost five of their last eight at Turf Moor (W3).
• Treble winners Manchester City finished their 2022-23 Premier League campaign with a draw against Brighton and defeat against Brentford. They’ve not had a longer run without a league win since a run of four in March/April 2017 (D3 L1).
• Vincent Kompany is set to become the first Belgian to manage in the Premier League – no Burnley manager has ever won their first Premier League game in charge of the Clarets (D1 L3).
• Erling Haaland – who scored twice in Man City’s opening Premier League game last season – scored a hat-trick in his only previous game against Burnley, in a 6-0 win in last season’s FA Cup quarter-final.