It was the narrowest of wins for Manchester City on Monday evening as they squeezed past Burnley 2-1 despite being at a numerical disadvantage.
Following a narrow 1-0 loss to Liverpool on New Year’s eve, City were under intense pressure to win this game and keep their faint title hopes alive. Their opponents were newly promoted Burnley and quite a few people expected the Citizens to have too much for their visitors.
Pep Guardiola chose to make four changes to his starting eleven with Kelechi Iheanacho starting in place of Sergio Aguero while David Silva was also on the bench. John Stones and Pablo Zabaleta were the other changes as they were replaced by Gael Clichy and Kolarov.
City had all the possession and spurned two clear chances to take the lead after Sterling and Iheanacho proved wasteful. Just before half-time, Fernandinho was sent off by referee Lee Mason for a challenge and replays showed that the straight red was perhaps a bit too harsh.
City continued to control the game and took the lead through the unlikeliest of sources when Gael Clichy’s placed shot from outside the box beat the goalkeeper. Sergio Aguero doubled the lead a few minutes later when he squeezed a tight shot from a difficult angle.
If City hoped to cruise from then on, Burnley scored from a corner and began to press for an equalizer. Despite several scares, City managed to hold on to their advantage and the result sees them move to third position on the PL log.