Gael Clichy keen to kick on after Burnley win

03 January 2017 01:24

Gael Clichy believes Manchester City can get themselves back on track after their hard-fought win over Burnley.

City ground out a 2-1 victory over the battling Clarets on Monday despite playing almost two-thirds of the game with 10 men following another Fernandinho red card.

Brazil midfielder Fernandinho was dismissed for a third time in six appearances but City prevailed after a rare strike from Clichy and a fine effort from Sergio Aguero, who had unexpectedly started on the bench.

It was not pretty, and Ben Mee's scrambled reply made for a tense final 20 minutes, but was an important result after the New Year's Eve loss at title rivals Liverpool.

The frustrations of manager Pep Guardiola, apparently over some crucial refereeing decisions, commanded a lot of the post-match headlines but City could still take satisfaction from three well-earned points.

Clichy said: "The three points were needed after the loss at Liverpool and I think we showed great character to win the game, being 10 against 11. The points are huge.

"We have to look forward and make those kind of performances as a team and hopefully we can have a great season."

Guardiola admitted he made a mistake in naming Aguero and David Silva among the substitutes. He introduced both at half-time to great effect, as well as making some tactical changes as a result of Fernandinho's sending-off.

Fernandinho acquired City's seventh red of the season - including one issued retrospectively - for a two-footed lunge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson and will now serve a four-match ban.

Clichy's effort, only his third for City, broke the deadlock just before the hour and Aguero followed up with a fine second from a tight angle. Mee pulled one back in contentious circumstances following a goalmouth scramble, with City claiming Claudio Bravo had been fouled, but the hosts held on.

Clichy said: "It was one of those days where everything is against you and we worked hard to make sure we got the three points.

"It was a weird game. Red card maybe, but some decisions were just not what you can expect.

"The boss told us at half-time not to think about what was going on outside football and some decisions, just play and try to get that goal that will make us feel better. I think we did.

"The last 20 minutes were hard after they scored that goal, and were playing long balls, but overall I think it was a great performance from the team.

"It is always a nice feeling to score goals but I am not worried about this. I just want to win games, win trophies and give my best for the team.

"I think the players that came on changed the game as well. If we carry on with that kind of mentality we can be happier for the future."

Burnley, who enjoyed a strong first half of the season following their return to the top flight and will be boosted by the return of Joey Barton, again performed creditably.

Manager Sean Dyche, who queried why City's Bacary Sagna was also not sent off after a tussle with George Boyd following Mee's goal, remained positive.

He said: "It was frustrating because we did enough to maybe get something from it. We just couldn't get there in the final moments.

"But we are not broken. We have had a few knocks but generally I think we are happy with this part of the season. Now it is about continuing the journey."

Source: PA


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