Wednesday night’s League Cup semi-final first leg between Manchester City and Burton Albion was the dictionary definition of a David vs. Goliath football match.
City, with home advantage, were as short as 1/15 with the bookmakers to win at the Etihad Stadium against their League One opponents.
Burton, who currently sit ninth in English football’s third tier, were always in store for an incredibly tough night. Avoiding a hammering and keeping themselves in the tie ahead of the second leg was their primary objective.
However, it took City just five minutes to break the deadlock.
Pep Guardiola named a strong starting line-up, featuring the likes of David Silva, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus. But it another of their stars - Kevin De Bruyne - who netted the game’s opening goal.
Silva whipped an inviting ball into the box and there was De Bruyne to head home past Bradley Collins in the Burton goal.
This led to a rather cheeky tweet from Match of the Day host Gary Lineker, who couldn’t resist taking a dig at the number of empty seats inside the Etihad Stadium.
“De Bruyne nods in from close range. Manchester City might score more goals than than [sic] there are spectators tonight,” the former England striker tweeted.
Ouch. Talk about hitting Man City where it hurts.
However, Lineker wasn’t the only person who tweeted about City’s poor turnout for such an important match.
Here’s a small selection of similar tweets from other football fans…
Lineker is the second big-name pundit to take a pop at City fans this week.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher responded to a dig from a City supporter by tweeting: “You can’t fill your Stadium!”
City have had well-documented trouble filling their ground - even for the big matches - despite the team’s success in recent seasons.
Their team are playing some of the most exciting football in Europe right now thanks to Pep Guardiola, but getting bums on seats and filling the ground is still proving difficult.
Those who turned up were treated to a ruthless performance from City, who took a 4-0 lead inside the first half thanks to a Gabriel Jesus brace and a fortuitous strike from Oleksandr Zinchenko.