'White Lives Matter' plane banner overshadows City's win over Burnley

Despite Pep Guardiola making eight changes to the team that defeated Arsenal, Manchester City crushed a woeful Burnley 5-0 at The Etihad stadium.

Phil Foden (L) started the scoring in the 22nd minute and got his second in the 63rd.   -  REUTERS

Manchester City's Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez scored two goals apiece as the hosts showed their impressive strength in depth, making eight changes but still crushing a woeful Burnley 5-0 in the Premier League at The Etihad stadium on Monday.

The result leaves second-placed City 20 points behind runaway league leader Liverpool with eight games remaining and Juergen Klopp's side cannot now clinch the title with a victory against Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday.

If City wins at Chelsea on Thursday then Liverpool could secure its first league crown in 30 years against Pep Guardiola's side in Manchester on July 2.

AS IT HAPPENED | Man City thrashes Burnley 5-0

On Monday, Burnley boss Sean Dyche could only name seven of the allowed nine substitutes, two of them goalkeepers, with his inexperienced bench without four regulars who have not signed contract extensions and it was a long night for the Clarets.

Talented 20-year-old Foden, making just his fourth start of the season, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, drilling a low shot from over 20 metres past keeper Nick Pope after a short-corner routine.

Riyad Mahrez made it 2-0 with a superb finish, collecting a long pass from Fernandinho and then jinking past the Burnley defence before firing home.

City made it 3-0 just before the break when a VAR review ruled that Burnley's Ben Mee had fouled Sergio Aguero inside the box and, while the Argentine striker went off injured, Mahrez converted from the spot.

Burnley's defending was then sloppy at a corner again, with Foden left free to cleverly pick out Bernardo Silva who put a ball across the face of goal for David Silva to slide home six minutes into the second half.

The outstanding Foden made it 5-0 in the 63rd minute, finishing off a sweeping counter-attack.

“I like to think that was my best game in a City shirt,” said Foden. “I am still learning every day and I am still young but I am just happy when I put a performance like that in”.

ALSO READ| Serie A CEO: The start of league is providing a sense of normalcy

-Burnley condemns 'White Lives Matter' flyover banner-

A plane carrying a banner declaring 'White Lives Matter Burnley' flew over flew over the stadium during the game.

The plane appeared shortly after players from both teams took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. There was no indication who had organised the plane and banner.

Burnley issued a statement at halftime saying the Lancashire club “strongly condemns” the actions and adding that they will work with authorities to identify those behind the move and issue lifetime bans.

All of the players in the 12 Premier League games since the restart of the season after the COVID-19 stoppage have worn 'Black Lives Matter' on their shirts in place of their names.

 

This follows the league formally joining the international protest campaign sparked by the death last month of George Floyd, a Black man, while in Minneapolis police custody.

Burnley said: “The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning Community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind.

“We are fully behind the Premier Leagues Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City.

“We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter,” the club said.

Burnley captain Ben Mee said after the game, which his side lost 5-0, that the players had heard “whispers” that something may have been planned and that he was embarrassed by the scene.

“I am ashamed and embarrassed that a small number of our fans have decided to fly that around the stadium. It is not what we are about. They have missed what we are trying to achieve,” said Mee, who began his career with City.

“These people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves. They don't represent what we are about, the club is about, the players are about and the majority of fans are about.

“I've heard it is a small number that have arranged this and I hope it doesn't happen again. I don't want to associate it with my club. I don't want to see this in the game.

“It is not right. We totally condemn it. These people can learn and be taught what Black Lives Matter is trying to achieve.”

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos