Man City 2-0 Burnley: player ratings, man of match, heroes and villains as the champions take three points

Pep Guardiola’s men made tough work of their encounter on Saturday, but came away with a well-deserved three points.

Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring. Credit: Getty.

Manchester City beat Burnley 2-0 on Saturday afternoon thanks to goals from Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.

However, it was far from a simple task against a Clarets side who frustrated the Blues for much of their encounter at the Etihad.

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Silva scored after 12 minutes but from then on City were casual in their approach and failed to press forward and grab a second before the break. That allowed Burnley to create chances of their own and the visitors perhaps produced the best openings of the first 45.

They also had their moments after the interval and on another afternoon could have netted a few, but City stepped up their efforts in the second period and De Bruyne’s dubious second ensured Pep Guardiola’s side took three points.

City celebrate De Bruyne’s goal. Credit: Getty.

There were suspicions of a foul in the build-up after Riyad Mahrez collided with Ashley Westwood, but the referee and VAR were in agreement that there was no infringement from the Algerian winger and the goal stood.

The heroes

  • The Class of ‘68: The club announced on Saturday morning that four players from the 1967/68 title-winning squad were to be awarded winners’ medals for their efforts 54 years ago. Stan Horne, Paul Hince, Bobby Kennedy and the late Harry Dowd didn’t receive them in 1968 due to a smaller number being awarded and City marked the occasion at half-time with an on-field presentation.
  • Bernardo Silva: The midfielder was City’s Player of the Month for September and continued that form into October with a superb performance at the Etihad. He grabbed the opener and combined excellently with fellow Portuguese international Joao Cancelo down the right flank.
  • Zack Steffen: The American goalkeeper came in for Ederson and performed well between the posts. He pulled off a reaction stop in the first period to deny Maxwell Cornet when clean through, and looked comfortable with the ball at his feet. Burnley deserved at least one goal for their efforts and Steffen can be pleased with his showing on just his second Premier League appearance.

The villains

  • Brazil: The five-time World Cup winners were in action during the early hours of Friday morning, which effectively ruled out Ederson and Gabriel Jesus from the visit of Burnley. Both City stars started as Brazil beat Uruguay 4-1 in Manaus.
  • Sean Dyche: His side had lost 5-0 in all of the last four visits to the Etihad but gave a good account of themselves this time around. The Clarets registered the best chances of the first half and were right in with a chance until De Bruyne’s 70th-minute strike. Cornet and James Tarkowski should both have scored either side of the break, but the pair spurned the fantastic opportunities.

Player ratings

Manchester City (4-3-3): Steffen 7; Cancelo 7, Stones 6, Laporte 7 (Dias 72), Ake 5; Rodri 6, De Bruyne 6 (Fernandinho 84), Silva 8 (Palmer 90+1); Mahrez 6, Sterling 5, Foden 6.

Burnley (4-4-1-1): Pope 7; Lowton 6, Tarkowski 7, Collins 7, Pieters 5; Cornet 7 (Barnes 56; 6), Cork 6 (Gudmundsson 72), Westwood 5, McNeil 6; Brownhill 6, Wood 6 (Rodriguez 82).

What’s next?

City face a trip to Belgium in midweek when they play Club Brugge in the Champions League. After losing last time out against Paris Saint-Germain, the encounter has become even more significant to their hopes of qualification. After that, Guardiola’s side face Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.