Manchester City are back to the winning ways in the Premier League after a quite difficult 2-1 victory over Burnley at the Etihad in the first match of 2017. The Citizens went down to 10 men in the first half after Fernandinho was sent off, but they were able to keep cool heads, find the goals and get a vital win despite playing badly most of the time.
City began the game well, dominating possession and finding some spaces on Burnley's well organized defense. The Clarets couldn't hurt Claudio Bravo at all during the period, and it seemed like City had the game under control and were ready to score the opening goal. Then Fernandinho received a straight red card for a hard challenge on Berg Gudmundsson, and City were down to 10 men with a lot to do in the second half.
The Citizens kept attacking despite having just ten players on the field, and they earned a two-goal lead in a five-minute span thanks to Clichy and Agüero - both amazing finishes. Burnley got a goal back after a melee inside the penalty area ended with Ben Mee scoring thanks to the goal-line technology, and the visitors thought they had a chance to win a shocking point at the Etihad.
But they didn't, because City held on and won three gigantic points at home in one of the toughest matches of the season. This win is huge.
Man City: Bravo | Sagna, Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy | Fernandinho | Navas (Silva), Touré, De Bruyne, Sterling (Stones) | Iheanacho (Agüero)
Goals: Clichy (57'), Agüero (62')
Burnley: Heaton; Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd, Hendrick, Arfield (Bamford), Gudmundsson (Defour); Barnes (Vokes), Gray
Goal: Mee (70')
- I honestly don't think Fernandinho deserved a red card, but Lee Mason isn't wrong to send him off, either. And after just two and a half games back from a suspension, Dinho is out again. This time for four games. See you in February. Thanks for nothing.
- Kun Agüero is special. Not a lot of strikers will manage to score a goal like he did. Placed the ball in the only possible angle for it to go in. Beautiful.
- I'm absolutely done with Claudio Bravo. Just get another goalkeeper, Pep. Please.
- I know there were ten men today, but a Pep Guardiola team cannot play as badly as we saw against Burnley. Really poor performance.
- Lee Mason only saw fouls committed by Manchester City players. Just absurd.
- Bad play, 10 men, short rest, tough game, bad refereeing. You know those games where wins feel bigger and may be decisive on a title run? This feels like it.