JACK GAUGHAN: In the end his homecoming was bittersweet as Burnley were bulldozed by Man City
JACK GAUGHAN: In the end, his return home was bittersweet as Burnley was swept away by Man City giants… Vincent Kompany of course knows all too well how that happens in these places.
All this must have been so disorienting for Vincent Kompany. He doesn’t lose often. He didn’t even go in the front doors.
His home, the Etihad Stadium. It will always be. But until Pep Guardiola fulfills his wish and Kompany receives the keys, he will have to continue using the service tunnel at the north end of the pitch to gain entry.
It’s a quiet way in, but if ever there was an evening when Manchester City broke tradition and allowed visitors through the tall glass doors to the Colin Bell Stand, this might be it. Hundreds of fans gather there to welcome the home coach, cheering each name as they disembark, and there may have been a special salute for their decorated former captain.
Instead, it went under the radar, and yet that was not to last. All four sides were signing his name before kick-off as he gave final instructions to Nathan Tella and Ian Maatsen. Maatsen’s assignment, to keep an eye on both Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne on Burnley’s left channel, required regular training on the touchline.
There was something unemotional about Kompany in the days leading up to homecoming, and that’s understandable. Burnley are no competition winners, attempting to make FA Cup history on an occasion that should have provided a fair idea of how high they must climb before a return to the Premier League is set to be secured shortly after the break. international.
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany applauds fans after the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final match
Pep Guardiola’s team thrashed Burnley de Kompany 6-0 to advance to the FA Cup semifinals.
Jack Cork (centre) and his Burnley teammates look dejected after conceding a fourth goal
The 36-year-old did not want a glorified spectacle and maintained that the opportunity to face City was a moment for the whole club to enjoy and not just him, although he rightly allowed himself a moment to applaud those serenading him. Hearing his name from the home fans with his team trailing 5-0 later? Bittersweet. Torn at the end, sadly.
What had come before offered evidence of exactly what Championship pundits have been raving about since August. Burnley were superb for almost an hour: intense, willing pressing and threatening possession. It wasn’t hard to see why they’re looking for a record point total in their division. Kompany applauded the mistakes of Cup keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and rookie defender Ameen Al-Dakhil because the ideas were in line with the instructions.
The Clarets refused to come to this arena and sit behind the ball, as so many do, even the biggest and richest clubs in the country. At times his back four played chicken with Erling Haaland and Phil Foden in the middle of what became a fascinating game within a game.
That was to their credit and also their undoing, but Burnley did it their way, their new way, and he will be encouraged by the experience to some extent.
Kompany left deflated, frustrated by the minor mistakes and big moments that cost them as the night slipped away. Once the first one came in, he held an impromptu team talk on the pitch to cajole his players, but they ended up being mowed down by a giant. Kompany, of course, knows very well how that happens.