Maybe Burnley would’ve accepted this outcome before kickoff: a 2-0 loss to Manchester City ahead of a huge midweek match in their Premier League safety hunt with Saturday’s Turf Moor visitors very capable of ruining a goal differential line.
Raheem Sterling set up first-half goals for Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan and that was all Man City needed and managed in a two-goal win ahead of this midweek’s big UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg versus Atletico Madrid and eight days from a monumental title fight with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.
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Man City reclaims its one-point lead atop the table after Liverpool beat Watford earlier Saturday.
Burnley, meanwhile, needs to keep relegation rivals within reach and could essentially lose sight of Everton if they fail to beat the Toffees at midweek. Burnley is four points back of 17th-place Everton having played one further match with Everton taking a trip to West Ham on Sunday.
WATCH BURNLEY vs MAN CITY FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM
Burnley vs Man City final score, stats
Burnley 0, Manchester City 2
Goals scored: De Bruyne (5′), Gundogan (25′)
Shots: Burnley 3, Man City 18
Shots on target: Burnley 1, Man City 6
Possession: Burnley 24, Man City 76
Three things we learned from Burnley vs Man City
1. Don’t let Liverpool hot streak distract from City’s power: Despite having far more players busy on international break, Man City bossed Burnley from the very early moments, with 79 percent possession in the first half, 75 in the second, and an 18-3 shot advantage that demanded four saves out of Nick Pope. City quadrupled the amount of completed passes as their hosts and Sean Dyche’s half-time inserting of Maxwel Cornet was more to work out the legs of the former Lyon man than hope to strike twice against the run of play.
2. All eyes on midweek (for both teams): Credit to Dyche for bringing on three forward subs in the second half just in case Man City gave up an uncharacteristic amount of chances, but the Burnley faithful would’ve realized early on that nothing would be risked with Everton coming up at midweek. On the same hand, Man City’s European dreams are as interesting to the club as holding off Liverpool for the PL crown, and the UCL quarters begin this week. This was a maintenance day from about the 25th minute forward to the final whistle.
3. … And on the weekend: Seriously, if you would’ve asked both Burnley and Man City if they would’ve just plopped 2-0 on the table so they could focus on what’s ahead, they probably would’ve hoped there was a publicly-approved way to accept it. City meets Real Madrid and then Liverpool, and Burnley’s next test after Everton is Norwich City. We will likely know a lot about this entire Premier League season by the time the final whistle blows on Man City vs Liverpool, 2.5 hours after the Clarets hit up Carrow Road.
Man of the Match: Raheem Sterling — As many key passes as missed passes (three) over 90 minutes of Sterling’s two-assist day.
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