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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 09:51 IST

Erling Haaland returns as Man City beats Burnley 3-1 in Premier League thanks to Alvarez's double

After missing over two months due to injury, Erling Haaland made his eagerly awaited Manchester City comeback on Wednesday, substituting in during a 3-1 victory over Burnley, following two goals from 24th-birthday celebration Julian Alvarez.

Reported by: Associated Press Television News
Erling Haaland
Pep Guardiola speaks to Erling Haaland during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium | Image: AP
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Erling Haaland made his highly anticipated return for Manchester City after nearly two months out injured, coming on as a substitute in a 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday after fellow striker Julian Alvarez scored twice on his 24th birthday.

Haaland was given a big ovation at Etihad Stadium after coming on in the 71st minute for Kevin De Bruyne, whose first start since his own injury layoff included a clever assist for Alvarez’s — and City’s — second goal.

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Rodri added the third for City while Haaland was unable to add to his 14 goals this campaign — tied for the most in the league — in his short time on the field, which included a wild miskick that sent the ball backward instead of toward goal.

Alvarez’s double will give City manager Pep Guardiola plenty to think about heading into the final few months of the season, now that Haaland is healthy again after his foot injury.

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Does Guardiola pair the Norway and Argentina internationals in attack? Or does Alvarez make way, having led the line well in Haaland’s absence since Dec. 6?

Whatever he does, Guardiola has enviable options now that Haaland and De Bruyne are back.

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Alvarez headed in a cross from Matheus Nunes in the 16th minute for the opening goal against a Burnley team managed by Vincent Kompany, a former City captain who has a statue outside the Etihad as a tribute to his 11 years of service at the club.

Alvarez made it 2-0 by slotting home after a quick free kick in behind the defense from De Bruyne from a central position. Guardiola celebrated wildly with his staff, suggesting it was a planned move.

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Rodri’s goal was in the 46th minute, the Spain midfielder finishing first time from the edge of the area after Phil Foden’s inside pass.

Burnley grabbed a consolation goal through Ameen Al-Dakhil in the third minute of stoppage time.

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 09:51 IST

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