Manchester City 2-0 Burnley: City up to second after Silva and De Bruyne strikes bury Clarets
Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Manchester City made hard work of things but managed to get by a plucky Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.

Goals either side of half time from Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne put The Clarets to bed who had a number of chances themselves.

The visitors had a number of chances themselves but the Champions had just enough quality to get it over the line after controlling much of the ball

  • Story of the game

Burnley started the game on the front foot with Maxwel Cornet tamely heading into the arms of Zack Steffen, who was deputising for Ederson who wasn’t available following the late finish to the South American FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Riyad Mahrez saw his speculative effort claimed well by Nick Pope after the ball bounced right in front of him.

After some pressure down the right side, City took the lead through Silva after Pope had blocked Phil Foden’s drive.

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The Portugal midfielder reacted quickest and tapped home from three yards.

From there, the hosts grew and should have made it two when Joao Cancelo first volleyed at Pope from a tight angle before Mahrez’s shot deflected off James Tarkowski for a corner.

Nathan Collins dispossessed De Bruyne in the box before the Belgian could get his shot away but it was the visitors who had the next chance.

Dwight McNeil released Cornet through on goal and he hit straight at Steffen who parried it back but the midfielder couldn’t keep his rebound down and blazed it over the bar.

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Burnley had their backs to the wall for much of the game and McNeil had to get back to dispossess Foden after his jinxing run.

The England youngster then found Mahrez in a good position before he smashed his effort over the bar.

And they were nearly forced to rue that missed chance minutes later when Aymeric Laporte was intercepted and Josh Brownhill curled an effort agonisingly wide for the visitors.

Burnley continued to look deadly on the break and Cornet dispossessed John Stones after some good pressure.

Stones powered through the wide man with a clean tackle which left Cornet on the floor, but he was able to continue on his return from injury.

Collins smartly blocked a Raheem Sterling overhead kick before half-time, with Silva squandering a pair of chances.

Right before the interval, Laporte lunged into McNeil on the halfway line with referee Martin Atkinson giving the foul despite Wood being sent through on goal.

The visitors were incensed at the decisions, but a red card would have been harsh.

From the start of the second half, City were on top and Silva was running the show.

He hit an outside-the-foot effort over the bar before rolling the ball into the path of Mahrez who’s effort clipped the bar on it’s way over.

Foden then tried to lob Pope but the ‘keeper recovered in time to stop it from going in.

Pope saved from Foden again as the Champions piled the pressure on in search of a second, before Sterling overhit his cross moments later.

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Ashley Barnes replaced Cornet and immediately had a chance at an equaliser, but saw his tame side-footed effort held well by Steffen.

Barnes was then unable to get on the end of Wood’s centre as Burnley started to grow ever so slightly in the game.

And Cancelo was the latest City defender to be caught out by Burnley’s high press, but Silva blocked McNeil’s cross before it reached a host of waiting Clarets.

But City’s quality shone through once again and put the game to bed after 70 minutes when De Bruyne fired home.

Mahrez shifted the ball out to the midfielder who saw his cross deflected back to him and he fired a beautiful left-footed shot into the far corner.

Wood did have another chance as City relaxed after doubling their lead, but he fired over the bar with just Steffen to beat.

Silva also had another chance to cap off his man-of-the-match performance but he took too long to have shot and The Clarets cleared.

And that was that, the streak of 5-0 wins at the Etihad against Sean Dyche’s side is over but it was a pretty dominating performance that pushes Pep Guardiola’s charges up to second in the league.

Burnley drop to 19th and without a win.

  • The main takeaways

City get the job done

It wasn’t ever going to be easy and Guardiola would have known that, but his team did just enough to get over the line.

Bernardo Silva turned up today with a very good performance, and will give his manager some tough decisions to make in the near future.

Kevin de Bruyne is getting back to his best after admitting he came back from his summer injury too soon and, when he is 100 per cent, City will be even better than they are now.

They were lax on the ball at times and were caught out and against a better side, they would have been made to pay.

But it didn’t matter and even without Ederson in goal, they looked resolute in defence, and were controlling going forward despite starting the game without a recognised striker.

Burnley were better than expected

That could be seen as derisory but it was expected that a pummelling was coming today.

And after 12 minutes, many would have assumed the floodgates would open.

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But they didn’t, and that was a credit to the team today.

Nathan Collins was excellent and captain Ben Mee was not missed as much as feared.

Maxwel Cornet is deadly and an enigma and will transform this side once he is able to get going fully.

He couldn’t last an hour today, but he showed his ability in glimpses and his fitness might be the difference between survival and relegation.

The performance was better again today and it is really only a matter of time before a win falls their way, but Burnley have to start picking up points somewhere.

They weren’t expected to win today, of course not, but they had chances today that they should have taken.

Not taking them on a different day could land them in serious trouble.

Next up for Manchester City is Club Brugge in the Champions League and Brighton and Hove Albion next weekend in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

Burnley travel to the south coast to face Southampton at 3pm on the same day.

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