Goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva put City past Burnley, maintaining their position in the Premier League top four.
City had won 5-0 on each of Burnley’s past four visits to the Etihad, and initially, it seemed like a similar scoreline was in the works when the Silva followed up Phil Foden’s shot to give the home side an early lead.
But there was no array of goals on this occasion, as Raheem Sterling was not in top form upon his return to Manchester City’s starting line-up. Although City dominated possession and created plenty of chances, they failed to extend their advantage, giving the visitors hope.
However, a late goal from Kevin de Bruyne put City’s worries to rest after Bernardo Silva’s early strike.
Before De Bruyne added a second goal with 20 minutes to go, Burnley gave City a few scares – but De Bruyne’s shot put these fears to rest.
Sterling made only his third league start of the season – having been recalled at the end of a week where he spoke publicly about being open to a move abroad if he failed to get more game time at City.
He struggled to make an impact in the first half while playing as the central attacker in City’s front three, managing only 11 touches and 1 shot – by far the lowest of any of their outfield players.
Sterling was far more involved when he switched to the left flank after the break but was unable to add to his tally of one league goal in 2021-22 and it was down to De Bruyne to finish the game off.
“Burnley always make an incredible high press, they take a lot of risks and they did really, really well,” said City manager Pep Guardiola.
The win keeps City two points behind leaders Chelsea, who won at Brentford. Burnley remain in the bottom three, still without a league win this season.