Belfast Telegraph

Rival managers see penalty differently after Manchester City cruise past Burnley

Pep Guardiola and Sean Dyche had differing views on the penalty that set Manchester City on the way to their 3-0 win over Burnley.

Sergio Aguero equalled City's goalscoring record of 177 when he struck from the spot after Nick Pope was controversially adjudged to have fouled Bernardo Silva in the first half at the Etihad Stadium.

Late goals from Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane secured City's club record-equalling 11th successive win and took them five points clear at the top of the Premier League but the penalty remained the main talking point.

City boss Guardiola said: "It's a penalty, I saw it. He touched - the goalkeeper - the right foot of Bernardo."

Burnley's players complained that Silva had exaggerated the contact at the time and Clarets boss was in no doubt the decision by referee Roger East was a soft one.

Dyche said: "To be clear, I don't think it was defining. They are a fine side, so you can't say that is going to affect the total outcome.

"There is contact. I don't know how the ref sees it because it is that instant, it's minimal and to get that high off the floor with your arms above your head is almost a skill in itself. I'm quite impressed by how far he travelled. If I kicked my kid in the garden I don't think he'd fall like that.

"The deciding factor is there is contact, but I don't think there is enough contact to fall in that fashion."

Aguero was playing his first match since breaking a rib in a car crash in Amsterdam three weeks ago.

His attempts to equal the City record have been on hold since he missed a penalty on his last appearance against Shakhtar Donetsk. He made no mistake on this occasion.

Guardiola said: "It was so important today to equal the record as soon as possible. He is going to break it and it will be something special.

"It is so important for him to be the top scorer in the whole history of the club. We are happy to have that moment with him."

City now have a cushion at the top after rivals Manchester United were surprisingly beaten at Huddersfield.

But Guardiola said: "In May, yes, it will be significant. In October, no."

Overall, however, Dyche admitted City were impressive.

He said: "I am not remotely saying if that went for us we would go and beat Man City today because they are a fantastic side. They are cruising at the moment."

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