Manchester City beat stubborn Burnley as Raheem Sterling makes rare start

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring their side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Saturday October 16, 2021.

Raheem Sterling could not mark his return to Manchester City's starting line-up with a goal but Kevin de Bruyne made certain his side still beat Burnley after Bernardo Silva's early strike.

City had won 5-0 on each of the Clarets' past four visits to Etihad Stadium and it seemed like a similar scoreline was on the cards when the impressive Silva followed up Phil Foden's shot to give the home side an early lead.

There was to be no glut of goals on this occasion, however. Although City dominated possession and created plenty of chances, they failed to extend their advantage, giving the visitors hope.

Burnley gave them a few scares before De Bruyne added a second goal with 20 minutes to go, curling his shot home when the ball broke to him inside the box.

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.

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates with Nathan Ake after scoring their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on October 16, 2021 in Manchester, England.

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 - by far the lowest of any of their outfield players - and only one shot, which was blocked.

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.

The win moves City into second place, a point behind leaders Liverpool. Burnley remain in the bottom three, still without a league win this season.

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