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Man City v Burnley: Talking points

THWARTED: Tom Heaton does well to deny Raheem Sterling

THWARTED: Tom Heaton does well to deny Raheem Sterling

Gael's goal, Sergio's stunner and what it all means for the FA Cup tie against West Ham, feature in our post-match talking points from Manchester City v Burnley...

An unlikely source

To describe a Gael Clichy goal as a rarity is an understatement – they’re essentially collectors’ items!

In 311 appearances, the left-back has netted just three times; bizarrely, all with his right foot.

It was a sweet finish too, to break the deadlock, as the defender picked up the ball on the corner of the box, cut inside and curled a low effort into the bottom corner. One any forward would have been proud of, for sure.

We certainly didn’t expect the Frenchman to be City’s joint leading scorer in 2017(!), but that strike was proof: it’s worth a shot.

Super subs

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Pep Guardiola was asked about his half-time changes: David Silva and Sergio Aguero for Kelechi Iheanacho and Jesus Navas.

He replied that he ‘wanted to win the game’ – and those changes certainly ensured that.

In addition to Aguero’s incredible goal (which we’ll come to shortly), the substitutions lifted the team and the crowd, and appeared to strike fear into the opposition instantly. The Blues were inspired and although their introductions may not have come as a surprise, they were effective.

3 King Kun

We all know about the quality Sergio Aguero possesses and there’s no way we could leave out his stunning goal from this piece.

First of all, the fact he was in the right place to pick up the pieces after Raheem Sterling had been thwarted by Tom Heaton was good; the finish that followed was unbelievable.

Without even taking a touch, the Argentine curled an effort in off the near post from a seemingly impossible angle. We’ve seen him perform miracles before – this was another to add to his collection.

Even the unmoved defenders on the line, Michael Keane and Matthew Lowton, couldn’t believe it had gone in.

Playing with a real hunger, Kun could even have added to his tally; though that amazing effort deserved to be the winner.

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4 Patience

While City had dominated the first half, they had been frustrated – even before Fernandinho’s red card.

The Blues did not have problems creating chances – it was finishing them that was proving difficult.

A combination of some fine goalkeeping, last-ditch defending and circumstance saw some clear-cut chances go amiss and such are the stakes riding on every game, the anxiety increased.

Still, there was plenty of time to play, and City were able to break the deadlock (even adding another!) before defending resolutely and battling late on after the deficit had been halved.

Switch in focus

This weekend brings a new challenge as City embark on their first game of this season’s FA Cup adventure.

The Blues travel to West Ham in the third round on Friday night, in what will be our first visit to the London Stadium.

An opportunity to rotate, resting players and utilising those who haven’t seen much game-time? You would expect so.

We’ll discover more later in the week…

Media Watch

Aguero shows class and Gabriel Jesus set to excite

AGUEROOOO: Sergio Aguero bags a wondergoal

A hard fought win against Burnley kicked off Manchester City’s 2017 and the various post-match storylines remain the focus of journalists this morning.

Sergio Aguero’s match-winning quality, the Blues’ ability to claim all three points with 10 men and a look at the arriving Gabriel Jesus all feature in Tuesday’s take of the back pages.

First Team News

Sagna: We are fighters

Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna says the spirit and fighting qualities his side showed to beat Burnley on Monday are exactly what will be needed if they are to win the Premier League title this season.

Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna talks after the Blues 2-1 win over Burnley

Picture Special

City v Burnley: 2017 begins in Etihad victory