Premier League
Man City2Burnley1

Manchester City 2-1 Burnley

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Watch Guardiola's awkward post-match interview

Ten-man Manchester City moved up to third as they withstood a spirited Burnley fightback in front of a relieved Etihad Stadium.

Fernandinho was dismissed towards the end of an even first half for a two-footed challenge on Johan Gudmundsson.

But the hosts improved after the break as Gael Clichy squeezed home a shot before Sergio Aguero, on as a substitute, fired home from a tight angle.

Ben Mee smashed home via the underside of the bar shortly after but Burnley could not force a leveller despite a fine chance for Andre Gray late on.

City take the hard road

Beginning the day 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, anything less than victory would have prompted some to begin reading the last rites on City's title challenge.

As it is, Pep Guardiola's side will look at the league table with renewed optimism as they closed to within two points of second-place Liverpool with one and possibly both of Chelsea and Tottenham to drop points when they face each other on Wednesday.

Ferndinho foul
Fernandinho's red card was his second in the Premier League this season, triggering a four-match ban

However, Fernandinho's dismissal meant they had to fight harder than they might have expected for victory.

The City captain took some of the ball as he contested a 50:50 ball in midfield, but his reckless scissor-action style meant that referee Lee Mason's decision to show red could be easily justified.

It is not the first time City's discipline has hindered their title ambitions. Including Sergio Aguero's retrospective red against West Ham, they have been shown seven red cards in Guardiola's 30 games in charge.

Fernandinho's third red card in six games for City means he will be banned for four matches and not available again until 5 February.

Should Fernandinho have been sent off? MOTD analysis

Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane: "There's no doubt it is a red for Fernandinho. It is quite clear. He's reckless and out of control. Referee Lee Mason is in a good position. It is a bad one. You see those sort of challenges and you hope for the best for the opposing player."

Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown: "It is a 100% red card all day long. His third in six games. It is indefensible, you don't want to see that in the game."

Aguero off the bench and to the rescue

Well before Fenandinho's lunging challenge, Guardiola's team selection seemed to have hampered rather than helped City's cause.

Aguero, who was spared the rigours of the festive fixture list after only making his comeback from a four-match ban in the New Year's Eve defeat by Liverpool, was left on the bench with Kelechi Iheanacho preferred up front.

Opta graphic
While Kelechi Iheanacho's touchmap (left) shows he stayed central, Sergio Aguero (right) roamed far and wide to look for the ball and compensate for Fernandinho's dismissal

Iheanacho missed the best of what little City created in the first half and Aguero brought a more threatening edge to the hosts' attack when he was introduced alongside David Silva at half-time.

The Argentine's dead-eyed finish from a tight angle, past two covering defenders, provided the winner and convincing evidence for an immediate recall.

Burnley come close on return to Manchester

Burnley have only won a single point away from Turf Moor this season, but they can count themselves unlucky not to follow their October draw at Old Trafford with similar on their return to Manchester.

While they confounded United with a stubborn rearguard action, Sean Dyche's side went toe-to-toe with City even before Fernandinho's red card gave them an extra man.

Mee's goal, awarded with help by the decision review system, exposed goalkeeper Claudio Bravo's uncertainty in the air, but Burnley created enough to take a point without City's errors.

The precision that Gray showed in scoring his hat-trick against Middlesbrough last time out deserted him in injury-time while Sam Vokes glanced just wide when well placed.

The Clarets remain 11th, eight points above the drop and well above par for the season so far.

Why always Fernandinho? - Stats

  • Fernandinho is the first City player to see two reds in a Premier League season since Mario Balotelli in 2011-12.
  • Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in nine Premier League goals for City this season (5 goals, 4 assists), compared to eight in his first season at the club.
  • Gael Clichy scored just his third Premier League goal in 311 games (two for City, one for Arsenal). His last goal came in November 2014 v Southampton.
  • City have only kept a clean sheet in two of their 10 Premier League games at the Etihad this season.
  • Burnley's goal was only the third they have managed away from home this season.
  • The Clarets have still taken just one point from their away games this season, with 22 of their total of 23 coming at Turf Moor (drawing one and losing eight away).

"I'm so happy, believe me" - manager quotes

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gave a series of short answers to BBC Sport's Damian Johnson after the match, a selection of which appears below:

Damian Johnson: "What was your view of the red card for Fernandinho?"

Pep Guardiola: "You are the journalist. Not me."

DJ: "You're the manager. I'm sure the fans would like to know.

PG: "Ask the referee - not me."

DJ: "You don't seem that happy that you've won."

PG: "More than you would believe. More than you would believe I am happy."

DJ: "You're not showing it."

PG: "I'm so happy believe me. I'm so happy. Happy new year."

DJ: "Are Manchester City in the title race?"

PG: "Yesterday no. Why today are we in the title race?"

Burnley manager Sean Dyche: "We gave away two poor goals, but the two players that they brought on at half-time are not bad players. I thought that they had an effect.

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Defeat is missed opportunity for Burnley - Dyche

"It is a missed opportunity. We lost our way a bit when they went down to 10 men. They came out really hard and fast after half-time. We made a game of it after that. There was no lack of effort, but we could not find a way through.

On Fernandinho's red card: "It was a red by modern standards. In years gone by, maybe not, but today I think it is."

Man of the match - Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero
Aguero's arrival off the bench galvanised his team and the Argentine managed four attempts at goal - more than any other City player - in his 45 minutes on the pitch

What's next?

Manchester City travel to West Ham in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday with Burnley taking on Sunderland the next day in the same competition.

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Bravo
  • 3SagnaBooked at 71mins
  • 30Otamendi
  • 11KolarovBooked at 71mins
  • 22Clichy
  • 42Y TouréBooked at 41mins
  • 25FernandinhoBooked at 32mins
  • 15NavasSubstituted forSilvaat 45'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forStonesat 89'minutes
  • 72IheanachoSubstituted forAgüeroat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Zabaleta
  • 9Nolito
  • 10Agüero
  • 13Caballero
  • 21Silva
  • 24Stones
  • 75García

Burnley

  • 1Heaton
  • 2Lowton
  • 5KeaneBooked at 80mins
  • 6Mee
  • 23Ward
  • 21Boyd
  • 37ArfieldSubstituted forBamfordat 88'minutes
  • 13HendrickBooked at 38mins
  • 25Berg GudmundssonSubstituted forDefourat 59'minutes
  • 7GrayBooked at 90mins
  • 10BarnesSubstituted forVokesat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Vokes
  • 15Bamford
  • 16Defour
  • 17Robinson
  • 26Tarkowski
  • 27Darikwa
  • 41O'Neill
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
54,463

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamBurnley
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home14
Away11
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 2, Burnley 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Burnley 1.

Booking

David Silva (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by David Silva (Manchester City).

Ben Mee (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by George Boyd.

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Burnley).

Booking

Andre Gray (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andre Gray (Burnley).

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Mee (Burnley).

Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Claudio Bravo.

Attempt saved. Michael Keane (Burnley) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Stephen Ward with a cross.

Attempt missed. Andre Gray (Burnley) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. John Stones replaces Raheem Sterling.

Substitution

Substitution, Burnley. Patrick Bamford replaces Scott Arfield.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match David Silva (Manchester City) because of an injury.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Stephen Ward.

Booking

Michael Keane (Burnley) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Michael Keane (Burnley).

Attempt missed. Sam Vokes (Burnley) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Scott Arfield with a cross.

Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

Stephen Ward (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Burnley. Matthew Lowton tries a through ball, but Scott Arfield is caught offside.

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

Ben Mee (Burnley) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.

Booking

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Bacary Sagna (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Burnley 1. Ben Mee (Burnley) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Sam Vokes (Burnley) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Michael Keane with a headed pass.

Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Nicolás Otamendi.

Substitution

Substitution, Burnley. Sam Vokes replaces Ashley Barnes.

Corner, Burnley. Conceded by Nicolás Otamendi.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea19161242132949
2Liverpool20135248232544
3Man City20133441221942
4Arsenal19124341192240
5Tottenham19116237142339
6Man Utd20116331191239
7Everton208662823530
8West Brom208572824429
9Bournemouth197392631-524
10Southampton206681925-624
11Burnley2072112231-923
12Watford196492334-1122
13West Ham2064102335-1222
14Leicester205692431-721
15Stoke195682232-1021
16Middlesbrough204791722-519
17Crystal Palace1944112935-616
18Sunderland2043131937-1815
19Hull2034131744-2713
20Swansea1933132144-2312
View full Premier League table

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