Were Manchester City disrespectful in Burton mauling?
Were Manchester City disrespectful in Burton mauling?
Manchester City smashed League One Burton Albion for nine in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.
Football fans all around the country were squirming and the English champions continued to pile the goals on poor Burton, who pulled off a miracle to reach this stage of the competition.
The whole county could only find pity for Burton who were completely outclassed on an evening to forget at the Etihad when their dreams of winning the cup were not only dashed as expected but crushed in spectacular fashion.
And so much so that some fans are now feeling as though Manchester City were disrespectful to Burton Albion by putting nine on them in the first leg.
Do those fans have a point? Was it cruel of Guardiola’s stars? Or are they just doing their job?
Disrespectful, or plain respectful?
It’s funny how we break things down in football. How beating a team 9-0 and going all out can be disrespectful, and how resting your stars for a game like this against lower quality opposition can also be disrespectful. You can’t have it both ways.
In stark contrast to the argument made by many, the fact that Manchester City went all out to do their best and to win by as many goals as possible is actually a payment of respect to Burton Albion.
City could have easily rested all their stars, but instead, they respect Burton’s achievement by treating them as they would another Premier League team.
They prepare properly, start near their best team and put on a fantastic performance. The 9-0 scoreline is a true reflection of the void between the two clubs. It’s a representation of the way football has become, the way money makes it impossible for clubs to stay on an even keel, or even close to it. It makes upsets like these almost impossible, but you can’t hide from the truth.
This result was a true reflection of just how good Manchester City are in comparison to a struggling League One club.
There’s no shame in that for Burton. They have pulled off just the latest of their club’s miracle achievements by getting to this stage of the competition, they are just unfortunate that they drew Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola said after the game: "We have to play the second leg. We will take it seriously."
That’s one of the world’s best managers giving Burton a plethora of respect. 9-0 and he’s going to take the second leg seriously? Even Burton might struggle to take the game seriously after that hammering, so it tells you a lot about what Guardiola thinks of Burton’s achievement to get to this stage of the competition.
The nature of sport
Going beyond the game itself a little. Anyone who grew up playing sport will have that competitiveness that you just can’t shake, be it a football cup final or a game of Monopoly.
The competitiveness is bred into you from an early age so that you perform your best come game day. That’s taken to the next level with professionals who have to find that supreme competitive edge in order to perform at the level in which they do week-in, week-out.
Football is about so much more than winning, but not when you’re actually on the pitch playing. In that moment, it’s about doing your best and winning a game of football.
And by that merit, you simply can’t ask a team or a player to ‘go easy’, to take pity on a team because the score-line isn’t going to look good for them.
In other sports, you have mercy rulings, particularly at a young age, when the score gets out of hand. However, we don’t have that in football.
You give it your best from moment one until the final whistle. To expect Manchester City to stop giving their best for Burton’s fortune would be against the nature and integrity of sport and football.
In contrast, it would actually be disrespectful to Burton to expect that of the English champions.
Blame the competition
This is now a nightmare scenario for Burton. They came into this two-legged tie knowing they had virtually no chance of reaching the final, and that tells you something about the competition is broken.
The two-legged system in the semi-final of the League Cup can only benefit big teams. It only serves as a mechanism to ensure that the final is between two elite clubs.
There have been exceptions like when Cardiff reached the final in 2012 and Birmingham in 2011, but both teams were lucky enough to play teams of a similar level in the semi-final. That’s seldom the case and it’s something that should be changed.
On a one-off game, home or away, any team has a chance, even if it’s a small chance.
Over two legs, against a team like Manchester City whose squad is expensive enough to buy Burton Albion and their stadium, few teams below the Premier League could ever hope to cause an upset.
How can that be healthy competition? It’s one that serves to benefit the bigger clubs and that’s not what the cup is all about. That’s why we love the FA Cup, and perhaps that’s why the Carabao Cup is but a side-thought.
Now, poor Burton have to play a second leg already 9-0 down when their terrific achievement of reaching this stage of the competition will be tarnished by an embarrassing aggregate score.
Let’s hope the Brewers fans can remember this cup campaign for all the right reasons and that it shows the organisers of the competition that something needs to change.
⚽️ GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ⚽️
New customers only. First single & e/w bet only odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes are not included in returns. Free bets are only redeemable on football. Free bets are non-withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply. 18+.
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
🔸 BET £10 AND GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 🔸
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
⚽️ BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! (MOBILE ONLY) ⚽️
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Sportsbook bets on any market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs), and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion (Apple Pay excluded). T&Cs apply
🔷 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £10 🔷
Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
🟩 BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS 🟩
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU BET £5 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
⚜️ GET A FREE BET UP TO £35 + 10 FREE SPINS ⚜️
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
🕋 BET £5 & GET £30 IN BONUSES 🕋
18+ New Customers opt in, bet £5 & get 2x £10 Free Bets for set events (odds 2.00+) + £10, Slots Bonus, selected games, 35x wagering to withdraw max £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card Payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
🟣 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS! 🟣
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
🟢 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES + A £10 CASINO BONUS 🟢
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. #Ad
🔵 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS + ACCA REWARDS OF YOUR CHOICE! 🔵
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
⚫️ GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! ⚫️
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.