29 April 2023

Vincent Kompany demands more of Burnley’s Manuel Benson after another great goal

29 April 2023

Vincent Kompany is ready to demand even more of Manuel Benson after a fourth outstanding strike in as many games put promoted Burnley on course for a 2-1 Championship victory at Ashton Gate.

The Belgian winger is fast making it his trademark to score from distance, but the superb curling effort from the right corner of the box after 33 minutes was special even by his recent standards.

Tommy Conway’s low drive from Andi Weimann’s pass for his 12th goal of the season had City level on the hour and made him the club’s top scorer for the campaign.

But two minutes later, a defensive error allowed Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez to score the winner from 12 yards after being teed up by Scott Twine to keep the champions on course to top 100 points for the season as they moved onto 98.

When asked if Benson’s left foot was magic, boss Kompany smiled and said: “If he gets five in a row that I will say so. But I want another one to be sure.

“Today he was running back towards his own goal when he struck the ball. It’s no coincidence that he keeps scoring like that. It’s something he has been doing since he was a kid and we are very happy to have him.

“Goals others would find hard to score are just normal for him. I will still be asking him for some tap-ins, but what he has done for us is fantastic.

“It was a good performance from the whole team, although we allowed Bristol to gain some momentum in the last 20 minutes and that made it a difficult game for us.

“We started really well and for long spells we looked threatening. We scored two goals, but maybe our end product was a little less than I would have liked.

“When we did come under pressure, we did what we had to do in those moments, defending crosses and getting up the pitch. It was a side of our game we needed today.”

Rodriguez replaced Lyle Foster, who was injured in a clash of heads with Kal Naismith during the first half.

Kompany added: “He was feeling dizzy so we could take no chances, but we think he’s OK.”

City boss Nigel Pearson said: “You could see why Burnley are champions in the first half, but I am very disappointed with the two goals we conceded.

“We talked all week about not allowing Benson to get the ball onto his left peg. The second mistake might have knocked the stuffing out of us, but we reacted well and they knew they had been in a game by the final whistle.

“Our biggest progression this year has been in finding an identity. We go into every game looking to win it and play with an energy that causes opposing teams problems.

“It has been a priority since I came here to improve fitness levels and the way we finished the game was testimony to how the players have taken that on board.

“We know we have a way to go to become top-six challengers next season, but if we can out-run teams, we will have a chance.

“We wanted to end our home programme with a good result, but there were plenty of positives in the performance.

“I was pleased with how we continued to stretch them and our substitutes had a positive impact, which is a huge improvement on recent seasons.”

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