Gabriel Jesus grabbed four goals as Manchester City all but secured their place in the EFL Cup final with a crushing 9-0 first-leg victory over Burton Albion on Wednesday.
The Premier League champions have now put 16 goals past lower-league opposition in the past four days, Pep Guardiola’s men having thrashed Rotherham United 7-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Kevin De Bruyne’s first headed goal in English football set the hosts on their way, with Jesus adding a quickfire double before Oleksandr Zinchenko fortuitously opened his City account.
Jesus took his tally to four either side of Phil Foden’s tap-in, before Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez completed a miserable night for Burton’s cup heroes.
7 – Manchester City are the first English league side to score at least seven goals in consecutive games in all competitions since Don Revie’s Leeds United back in October 1967. Heaven. #CarabaoCup pic.twitter.com/vniTiD8jQm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 9, 2019
It took City five minutes to unlock the Burton defence, David Silva’s pinpoint pass picking out De Bruyne’s run and the Belgium international made no mistake with his header.
Despite falling behind Burton rallied and Marcus Harness should have equalised in the 12th minute, but Saturday’s hat-trick hero blazed Lucas Akins’ cross over the bar.
City’s control of proceedings was never under threat, though, and in the space of seven minutes the hosts were four goals ahead as Jesus and Zinchenko struck.
Having pounced on a loose ball after Leroy Sane’s shot was saved by Bradley Collins, Jesus doubled his tally from Silva’s pass – the striker taking his time before slotting it in off the post.
3-0 #cityvbafc #mancity pic.twitter.com/Fok9JEtXOd
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 9, 2019
City’s fourth was harsh on the visitors as Zinchenko’s attempted cross looped over Collins, but there was no doubting the quality of Jesus’ hat-trick goal as he converted Mahrez’s cross to the back post.
Four minutes after replacing the impressive De Bruyne, Foden had his second Etihad goal in as many games, the youngster profiting after Jesus had been held up by Burton’s defenders.
Jesus would not be denied a fourth moments later, though, as Sane beautifully controlled Mahrez’s pass on his chest before finding the striker, who applied the finishing touch.
After setting up Walker for City’s eighth, Mahrez completed Burton’s misery with a goal of his own, the Algeria international poking the ball past Collins to round out a one-sided semi-final encounter.
What does it mean? Seventh final awaits City
City’s 11th EFL Cup semi-final could not have started any better with Guardiola’s side already planning for next month’s showpiece, which would be their seventh appearance in the showpiece. For Burton boss Nigel Clough – who won the competition twice as a player – he will just hope the aggregate score does not bring further embarrassment in the second leg.
Joy for Jesus
After struggling in front of goal at times this season, Jesus was in fine form as Burton were easily brushed aside. His second treble at the Etihad Stadium means he has now scored 11 goals in his last seven starts for City in all competitions.
Harness rues missed opportunity
While it may not have stopped the City juggernaut, Harness’ miss at 1-0 could have at least slowed the hosts down and brought a moment of celebration for the travelling Burton fans. As it was he cleared the crossbar and City ran riot afterwards.
Key Opta Facts
1986 – Burton Albion’s 9-0 defeat is the heaviest League Cup defeat by any side since Liverpool beat Fulham 10-0 back in September 1986, and is the largest ever margin of defeat in the semi-final of the competition. Gap. #CarabaoCup
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 9, 2019
– City have won 13 of their last 15 EFL Cup matches against sides from a lower division (D2), scoring 50 goals.
– City are the first side in the top four tiers of English football to score at least seven goals in back-to-back matches in all competitions since Leeds United did so in October 1967 (9-0 versus Spora Luxembourg in the Fairs Cup and 7-0 against Chelsea in the top flight).
– The 9-0 victory is Guardiola’s joint-largest margin of victory as a manager, alongside Barcelona’s thrashing of L’Hospitalet by the same scoreline during a Copa del Rey match in December 2011.
– Jesus has now scored two hat-tricks at the Etihad Stadium, only Carlos Tevez (four) and Sergio Aguero (10) have netted more home trebles for City since their move away from Maine Road.
City’s attention turns back to the Premier League title when they face Wolves on Monday, while two days earlier Burton will hope for more joy against Gillingham.