Guardiola tetchy despite City beating Burnley with 10 men
MANCHESTER: Pep Guardiola was tetchy and terse even though his Manchester City side needed only 10 men to beat Burnley 2-1 on Monday in a swift recovery from a loss to title rival Liverpool.
City captain Fernandinho was shown a straight red card in the 32nd minute for a two-footed lunge on Johann Gudmundsson at the Etihad Stadium — his third dismissal in his last six games.
"You are the journalist, you can see it and you can explain it," Guardiola said in testy post-match broadcast interview.
Pressed further, Guardiola said: "Ask the referee not me."
Despite the dismissal, City's French defender Gael Clichy broke the deadlock with a well-placed shot into the far corner in the 58th minute.
Sergio Aguero then came off the bench to score City's second, firing in off the post from the tightest of angles four minutes later.
Burnley made a fight of it when an attempted clearance by City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was eventually smashed over the line by Ben Mee in the 70th, but City held on for an important win after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Liverpool.
"We won against a lot of circumstances in a tough game," Guardiola said.
City moved up to third place, two points behind Liverpool and seven behind leader Chelsea, which plays Tottenham on Wednesday. Fourth-place Arsenal, which faces Bournemouth on Tuesday, is two points behind Guardiola's side.
City again found the going heavy despite starting well. Kelechi Iheanacho, hoping to justify his surprise selection ahead of Aguero, had an early opportunity but failed to get the ball round Tom Heaton. The Burnley keeper quickly scrambled to deny Raheem Sterling in a fine double save.
The hosts had to reorganize after Fernandinho's red card, but failed to make much headway until Guardiola introduced Aguero and David Silva for the start of the second half.
The breakthrough came just before the hour when Michael Keane headed out a Bacary Sagna cross straight to Clichy. The Frenchman took a couple of touches on the edge of the area before striking a low shot that went behind the legs of Silva and beat Heaton at the far post.
Within moments, City had swept most of its earlier anxiety aside by doubling the lead.
Sterling shrugged off the defense to go through on goal, and although he stumbled while trying to go round Heaton, Aguero pounced from a narrow angle to finish with great precision. Keane was on the line and might have got his body in the way, but the ball was past him in a flash.
Burnley made life difficult for City in the closing stages by pulling a goal back in a goalmouth scramble.
Bravo invited the danger as he flapped at a corner and allowed Sam Vokes to get in a header. Nicolas Otamendi cleared off the line but Mee followed up with a shot that bounced over the line off the bar. Andre Gray then bundled over Bravo to force the ball in for a second time as play initially continued but, amid some confusion, the referee indicated that Mee's effort had registered.
Aguero almost made it 3-1 after a quick break from Kevin De Bruyne but Matt Lowton blocked his shot, while Bravo palmed over a late effort from Keane at the other end as Burnley kept up the pressure in a vain search for an equaliser.