Final Result: Burnley 1 : 1 Manchester City
Manchester City have been the undisputed leaders of the 2017-18 Premier League season and their massive turnaround under Pep Guardiola has been the outcome of the Spaniard’s masterful tactics as well as heavy spending to reconstruct the defensive line of last season that let the gaffer down on many occasions.
Their Saturday lunch-time fixture against the Clarets was expected to be a stroll in the park for the Cityzens considering the disappointing run that Burnley were on but it proved to be quite a highly-contested outing as the hosts managed to pull off a late equaliser to settle for a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.
City, as expected, were the far better side, with pace, midfield creativity, and ruthlessness in the attack. But they had an unlikely scorer this afternoon when left-back Danilo scored a stunning goal from 25 yards out with a curling effort into the top-right corner that put an end to Burnley’s deep defensive strategy midway in the first-half. The visitors had a few more chances to stretch the lead but some shockingly missed opportunities (particularly from Raheem Sterling) didn’t allow them to put the game to bed early enough.
Burnley. however, had a glorious opportunity to equalise midway through the second half but Ederson somehow managed to keep Aaron Lennon’s strike away from goal with the help of the woodwork. The Cityzens were sensing trouble as the Clarets were pushing for a late resurgence and the hosts successfully grabbed a late equaliser via Johann Berg Gudmundsson. City paid the price for their missed opportunities.
Manchester City Player Ratings:
The custodian made a fine stop to keep away Aaron Lennon’s strike with the help of the woodwork but couldn’t keep a cleansheet as Gudmundsson’s late equaliser spoiled City’s party.
Kyle Walker (7)
Walker was great going forward, whipped in crosses and linked up beautifully down the right flank. Burnley, however, switched to a high pressing attacking game towards the end and the Englishman had moments of discomfort while defending.
Vincent Kompany (5.5)
The skipper started the game in the heart of the City defence but had an anxious outing when his mistake almost cost his side if not denied by Ederson. He could not see off a victory as the hosts netted a late goal to clinch a point from such a difficult outing.
Nicolas Otamendi (7)
The Argentine has been the most consistent defender for the Cityzens this season and was having a comfortable outing until Gudmundsson found a late goal for the Clarets.
Danilo was the unlikely name who made it to the scoresheet with a stunning first-half strike from 25 yards out. He almost netted another in a similar fashion but Burnley custodian Nick Pope managed to deal with it.
Was controlling City’s game from a deeper midfield role by switching it to the flanks, banking on his great vision and passing traits. But the Brazilian looked nervy towards the end when the hosts were piling the pressure up in search of a late reaction.
Ilkay Gundogan (7)
The German international had a lively first-half with his runs, movements and link-up play with Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero. But he looked a little worn out in the second half and despite some promising runs. The ex-Borussia Dortmund midfielder lacked the end product.
Kevin De Bruyne (8)
The Belgian superstar might not have made it to the scoresheet but was majestic throughout the game as he kept on creating opportunities up front until the very end. The forwards lacked finishing which cost the Cityzens big time this afternoon.
Raheem Sterling (5)
His missed chance might just be Premier League’s miss of the season when he struck an effort wide from the six-yard box despite facing an empty net. He was taken off minutes later and the miss got punished when Gudmundsson scored late to add more misery to Sterling’s afternoon.
Bernardo Silva (7.5)
The Portuguese sensation has stepped up in Leroy Sane’s injury absence and delivered another stellar display down the right flank. He assisted Danilo’s goal and created a few more glorious opportunities later on, which, however, could not be converted by the Cityzens.
Sergio Aguero (6)
Aguero made some clever movements inside the box, tested the keeper once but could not prove to be the difference this afternoon.
Brahim Diaz (6)
The youngster came on as Sterling’s replacement. Made some ambitious movements but failed to create anything spectacular to snatch a victory.