MAN CITY 2, BURNLEY 0
Another footballing record eluded Manchester City who had to settle for a modest home victory against Burnley.
City, who continue to push boundaries, had beaten the Clarets 5-0 in each of their four previous meetings at the Etihad and no team in English history had won five in a row at home against the same opposition by a five-goal margin.
That never looked like happening as City were far from their fluent best and had to settle for a win through goals from Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.
And the biggest cheers of the afternoon greeted each goal of the afternoon at the King Power Stadium where neighbours United were losing 4-2 to Leicester City.
While City were below par, give credit to Burnley who acquitted themselves well and their high-pressing game prevented City from playing out from the back as they usually do.Embed from Getty Images
“It was a difficult game after the international break. I am delighted with the victory and the way we played,” explained City manager Pep Guardiola.
He also praised the display of Silva, saying: “The performances of Bernardo have been extraordinary, and he is an incredible person.
“We are lucky to have him and all I want in his happiness, and he deserves the best.
“It is a joy to have him. When he is not playing, he wants to help. He is top level the way he is playing at the moment.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche took positives from the defeat.
He said: “It is tough coming here, but there are positive things to take from the game.
“We have got to take our chances. There were not so many, but they were high quality chances which we have to take.
“I am not harping on (about decisions going against them). It is important to focus on what we are doing and not doing and the positive things.
“We did not come to wait and took on the game and got into great positions. There were a lot of outstanding things, and we have to build on them.”
Raheem Sterling was recalled for only his third Premier League start of the season for City who also hand a first club appearance of the campaign to defender John Stones.
Sterling was chosen in a City attack missing the injured Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus who, like goalkeeper Ederson, was unavailable after playing for Brazil in the early hours of Friday.
Zack Steffen came in for only his second league start for City who made five changes from the team that drew with Liverpool before the international break. Nathan Ake and Riyad Mahrez were the other players who came in.
Burnley made three changes from the side that drew with Norwich last time out. Jack Cork, Erik Pieters and Maxwell Cornet replaced Charlie Taylor, Aaron Lennon and Matej Vydra.
City, after an almost pedestrian start, made a 12th minute breakthrough through Silva was twice involved in the goal.
Joao Cancelo and Silva set up Phil Foden whose initial effort was well kept out by Nick Pope only for Silva, following in, to snash home the rebound from a couple of yards for his third goal of the season.
It looked as though then floodgates might open as moments later Sterling was denied by Pope and Mahrez, following up, saw his effort blocked by Dwight McNeil.
Burnley had a great chance to equalise when Cornet was put clean through by Dwight McNeil, but Steffen stood tall to block and the Ivorian forward’s follow-up cleared the crossbar.
And they had another opening when Cork cut the ball lack and it was only cleared as far as Josh Brownhill who pulled his shot narrowly wide.
There was a kerfuffle in first half stoppage time when Aymeric Laporte was booked for a lunge on McNeil with the visitors believing it ought to have been a red card.
The fans at Etihad Stadium have seen plenty of trophies and medals handed out on this pitch in the past decade but today some Manchester City players are receiving accolades for a success more than 50 years ago.
Four City players from their 1968 title-winning team finally received their medals for their part in the triumph.
Bobby Kennedy, Stan Horne, Paul Hince and the late Harry Dowd did not receive medals at the time due to a smaller allocation being awarded by the Football League.
Horne, Kennedy and the sons of Hince and Dowd were on the pitch at half time being given exact replicas of the medals their team-mates were given.
City almost doubled their advantage within five minutes of the restart when Silva cut the ball back to Mahrez who struck the bar with a drive from 18 yards.
It took until the 70th minute before City sealed victory with their second, a spectacular strike from De Bruyne.
However, there was an anxious wait to determine whether the goal stood following Mahrez’s challenge on Ashley Westwood before he set up the Belgium international’s third goal of the campaign.
Burnley also claimed Jack Cork was fouled further upfield as City broke forward to score.
City made their first change with 18 minutes left when Ruben Dias replaced Aymeric Laporte.
Burnley had a great chance to halve the deficit when Chris Wood fired narrowly over from six yards after Nathan Collins headed McNeil’s free kick into his path.
De Bruyne made way for Fernandinho with six minutes left while in stoppage time Silva was replaced by teenager Cole Palmer.