Manchester City will top the Premier League at least for a few hours thanks to a very hard-fought 2-1 win over Burnley on Saturday's early game. The Clarets gave a valiant effort and caused plenty of trouble, but City eventually found the goals to record an important comeback win on the road.
City had a very poor first half, with three very physical midfielders and very little creativity. Burnley imposed their fighting style and the game was tough to watch. It got tougher when Dean Marney scored the first goal inside 15 minutes. City improved a little after the goal and began to test Paul Robinson, and near the end of the period, Sergio Agüero tied the game after a lucky bounce from a corner-kick fell to his right foot.
At halftime, ugly performances from both sides, and the need for better football in the second half, especially from City.
The football did not improve in the final 45 minutes, and City continued to fight hard for a game-winning goal instead of creating chances to do that. But the goal came thanks to Fernandinho's work rate and Sergio Agüero's lucky finish off his knee. There was nothing else for the rest of the second half, and City will be happy to leave Turf Moor with three points despite not playing well enough to deserve them. Burnley didn't deserve a result either, so City can be happy with the victory.
Burnley: Robinson | Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward | Marney (Arfield), Defour (Barnes) | Gudmundsson (Tarkowski), Hendrick, Boyd | Vokes
Goal: Marney (14')
Man City: Bravo | Sagna, Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy | Fernandinho, Fernando | Sterling (Sané), Touré, Nolito (De Bruyne) | Agüero (Navas)
Goals: Agüero (37', 60')
- It was a surprising shot by Dean Marney, but Claudio Bravo should have done better in Burnley's goal. He can't help himself, can he?
- Very poor first half by City. Guardiola tried a more physical lineup, and it didn't work. Burnley were better defensively and City couldn't create anything without Silva and De Bruyne.
- Agüero's equalizer was a lucky, undeserved goal, but it was huge for the game. City improved in the second half, and thanks to Burnley's injuries, were the better team and got the win.
- And then Agüero scored the second, and that was somehow even luckier. Fernandinho worked his butt off to make that play happen, the ball hit Agüero's KNEE and went in. Ugly as hell, but a goal is a goal.
- Yaya Touré's heroic game last week was not followed by a good performance. Very poor game from him.
- I think Pep Guardiola may have a stroke watching this game. So many long balls and so very little creativity that he'll hate these 90 minutes for the rest of his life.