Manchester City beat Burnley 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to stay within a point of Premier League leaders Liverpool. Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne scored.
Pep Guardiola’s side produced a lacklustre performance against winless opponents, but after the difficulties of re-assembling his squad following the international break, the City manager was content with three relatively easily earned points.
City gave a start to Raheem Sterling, who had said this week that he would consider leaving the club, with American Zack Steffen filling in for Ederson in goal due to the Brazilian’s late return from national team duty.
Sterling, on the other hand, had little impact in an unusually punchless City attack, with Riyad Mahrez struggling on the right and Phil Foden shining down the middle.
Silva, a Portuguese midfielder, opened the scoring in the 12th minute, tapping in after Burnley keeper Nick Pope had pushed out Foden’s well-struck low drive.
Burnley did cause City some problems, and Ivorian attacker Maxwel Cornet had a chance to equalize when he latched on to a ball over the top from Dwight McNeil, but City keeper Zack Steffen saved well with his legs.
Burnley finished the first half strongly, with Josh Brownhill shooting wide from inside the box after some hesitant defending from City.
After the break, Riyad Mahrez came close to doubling City’s lead, clipping the crossbar after a clever pull-back from Silva.
When Ashley Westwood failed to clear the ball for Burnley, the ball fell to De Bruyne, who smashed home with his left foot in the 70th minute.
Burnley should have equalized late on, but a stretching Chris Wood shot over the bar after City’s defense had given him space.
Pep Guardiola’s team is second in the table with 17 points from eight games, while Liverpool leads with 18 points. Chelsea could reclaim first place if they win at Brentford later on Saturday.
“It’s always difficult to get back into a rhythm after the international break, and I know how good Burnley are.” “They did a great job, and they have good players,” Guardiola said.
“We played really well in the second half and could’ve scored more goals.” Good result, we’ll take the victory after the international break and see what happens next.”
Burnley’s previous four visits to City had all ended in 5-0 defeats, and manager Sean Dyche was pleased with his team’s performance this time.Leicester 4-2 Man Utd: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men crushed by Foxes in a six-goal thriller
“We got nothing out of the game, but I was pleased with our performance against a top side,” Dyche said.
“They created chances, not as many as in the past, but I was pleased we were creating quality chances, which has been our challenge all season – taking our chances.”
With three points, Burnley is second from the bottom.Reuters News