POLL: Should Manchester City have eased off on Burton in 9-0 win?
Manchester City will carry a virtually unassailable lead into the second leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal after beating Burton Albion 9-0 in Wednesday's first leg at the Etihad.
There were three divisions and several hundred million pounds in market value separating the two sides at kick-off and the question of "professional etiquette" was raised after the game, in which Gabriel Jesus helped himself to four goals.
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
Indeed, critics were left to query whether City really had to continue piling the misery on their League One opponents even after romping to a 4-0 lead by the interval.
There's also a professional etiquette of not taking the piss. Debatable whether City could have eased up after six...
Just look at the ratio on that tweet...
The issue was hotly debated on social media, with one camp arguing that City should have eased up on Burton to spare their blushes, while the other contended that football is a competitive sport and that the maximum number of goals should always be pursued.
The home fans were chanting that they wanted to see double figures during the latter stages of the game, perhaps in the knowledge that one more goal would have equalled the club's all-time record win: a 10-0 victory over the now-defunct Darwen FC way back in 1899.
After the game, the question was put to Pep Guardiola, who maintained that his side had wholeheartedly obliterated Burton as a show of respect.
Guardiola going to each Burton Albion player, shaking their hand, having a word, especially with keeper Collins. 9-0 final. #mcfc pic.twitter.com/Mvwz3ZNEnO
"We spoke about that at half-time -- to play simple, let them run and try to score more goals. It's the best way to respect the competition and respect the opponents," the City boss told reporters.
"If you are 4-0 up and forget to continue, you don't have respect for the competition or your opponent. The best way is do what we have to do."
Whether or not you believe that a 9-0 drubbing demonstrates a lack of footballing etiquette, it must be said that Guardiola was at pains to remain humble in the aftermath.