Pep Guardiola defends Raheem Sterling after incredible Burnley miss

Pep Guardiola defends Raheem Sterling after incredible Burnley miss

The Manchester City manager refused to blame Sterling for City's dropped points after he missed from a yard out at Turf Moor

Sam France

Pep Guardiola was quick to defend under-fire forward Raheem Sterling after he produced one of the misses of the season as Manchester City drew at Burnley.

City led through a wonder-strike from full-back Danilo and should have doubled their advantage in the second half, but Sterling somehow managed to miss the target from a yard out when presented with an open goal. 

The ball bobbled across the top of Sterling's boot and bounced wide and he was substituted soon after, before Johann Berg Gudmundsson volleyed Burnley level - but Guardiola denied that the miss was the reason for his withdrawal.

'Sterling missed one chance - that's football'

"I didn't substitute him for that reason," said Guardiola after the game. "It's football. Next day, he's going to score a goal. Raheem scored against Southampton in the 96th minute, today he missed one chance. That's football, it can happen.

"Next day, he will focus on the next one and improve. When we improve we will be a stronger team. It's not the first time somebody has missed a chance and it wasn't just Raheem, we missed a lot in this game." 

In spite of the dropped points, Guardiola said that he was pleased with City's overall performance in what he admitted was a difficult ground for his side to travel to.

Guardiola hails performance at 'complicated' Turf Moor

The visitors dominated the first half and could have been comfortable at half-time with better finishing, though the Clarets did have chances of their own and could have won on another day.

"It was an outstanding performance," he said. "We're sad for dropping two points but the way we played, to come here and play the way we played, it's almost impossible.

"To control the long balls with [Sam] Vokes and [Ashley] Barnes, making an amazing buildup to find the inside and outside, we were able to find the players in the positions we needed.

"Here, to do it in Burnley is so complicated. I'm delighted at the way we played again... but at the top level you have to score goals and today we weren't able to do that, that's why we dropped two points."

The result saw Manchester City lose their four-match winning run, but they remain unbeaten since January's defeat to Liverpool.