Manchester City avoided the ignominy of a FA Cup upset as they struck four second-half goals to beat Burnley 4-1 in an enthralling tie at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
Ashley Barnes’ brilliant volley in the 25th minute had silenced the Sky Blues faithful, who were forced to accept that perhaps their brilliant side’s unbeaten run in domestic competition had come to an end.
As John Stones skewed a routine clearance, Barnes pounced on the mistake and rifled a shot beyond Ederson to give the Clarets a shock lead and Sean Dyche’s men absorbed the pressure to cling on to their slender lead till half-time.
With 45 minutes left in the tie, Pep Guardiola could have been forgiven into sending on Kevin De Bruyne into forcing a result, but the Catalan tactician stuck to his guns and didn’t make any changes at the interval.
And the vaunted manager’s faith was rewarded as star striker Sergio Aguero scored a quick fire double (56 and 58) to turn the tie on its head.
Aguero’s second goal, in particular, was spectacular not for the finish but the deft assist by Ilkay Gundogan. The German midfielder, with his back to the goal, cheekily split Burnley’s defence open with a back-heel pass and Aguero calmly rounded Nick Pope before finishing into an empty net.
Leroy Sane would then make sure of the win with a well-worked move in the 71st minute, collecting David Silva’s through ball expertly before beating Pep with a low finish.
Substitute Bernardo Silva tapped-in with eight minutes remaining and the Etihad roared in unison after witnessing a comeback perhaps only one team in England can manage at the moment.
The Sky Blues, who are running away with the Premier League, remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple, and will now shift their focus to a EFL Cup semi-final with Bristol City on Tuesday before travelling to Anfield to take on Liverpool in a Premier League clash on January 14.
Burnley will hold their heads high, for despite the unflattering scoreline, they gave as good as they got and for almost an hour, looked like they had the better of a side that are simply swatting everyone away.
City join the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United in the fourth round and will know their opponent when the draw takes place on Monday.