Man City 2-1 Burnley: Match Report

02 January 2017 05:34

Man City beat Burnley but Fernandinho sees red for third time in six games

Manchester City overcame another Fernandinho red card to beat Burnley 2-1 with goals from Gael Clichy and substitute Sergio Aguero.

City had to play almost two thirds of a fractious Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium with 10 men after Fernandinho was dismissed for a third time in six games after a two-footed tackle.

But a rare strike from Clichy and a fine effort from Aguero, who surprisingly started on the bench, earned City the points even though a scrambled Ben Mee reply meant a nervy last 20 minutes.

Claudio Bravo made a fine late save from Michael Keane to prevent Burnley snatching a point.

City again found the going heavy despite starting well. Kelechi Iheanacho, hoping to justify his surprise selection ahead of Aguero, had an early opportunity but failed to get the ball round Tom Heaton. The Clarets keeper quickly scrambled to deny Raheem Sterling in a fine double save.

Iheanacho got behind the defence again when he raced onto a good pass from Yaya Toure but Heaton again denied him, beating away his shot.

Sterling launched a lightning counter-attack but Jesus Navas could not pick out a team-mate in the area. When Navas did find Toure after another good break, Heaton saved well from the Ivorian.

The first major talking point came after 32 minutes when Fernandinho was shown a straight red card for jumping into a challenge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson. Referee Lee Mason took time to make his decision but after recent controversy following such tackles in the Premier League, it came as no surprise.

City had to reorganise but failed to make much headway until Guardiola decided to introduce Aguero and David Silva at half-time.

Their breakthrough came just before the hour as Keane headed out a Bacary Sagna cross straight to Clichy. The Frenchman took a couple of touches on the edge of the area before striking a sweet low shot which went behind the legs of Silva and beat Heaton at the far post.

Within moments City had swept most of the earlier anxiety aside by doubling their lead. Sterling shrugged off the defence to go through on goal, and although he stumbled trying to go round Heaton, Aguero pounced from a tight angle to finish with great precision. Keane was stood on the line and might have been able to get his body in the way but the ball was past him in a flash.

From this point Guardiola might have expected City to close out the game but Burnley hit back and made life uncomfortable by pulling a goal back in a goalmouth scramble after 70 minutes.

Bravo invited the danger as he flapped at a corner and allowed Sam Vokes to get in a header. Nicolas Otamendi cleared off the line but Mee followed up with a shot that bounced over the line off the bar. Andre Gray then bundled over Bravo to force the ball in for a second time as play initially continued but, amid some confusion, Mason indicated Mee's effort had registered. Sagna also got involved in a tussle with George Boyd over who should retrieve the ball and it made for a fiery conclusion.

Aguero almost made it 3-1 after a quick break from De Bruyne but Matt Lowton brilliantly blocked his shot. City wanted a penalty after a Stephen Ward challenge on Silva but nothing was given.

Bravo palmed over a late effort from Keane as Burnley kept the pressure on to the end.

Source: PA