Clarets boss feels loss against ten man City was a 'missed opportunity'

Sean Dyche watches on from the touchline as George Boyd clears
Sean Dyche watches on from the touchline as George Boyd clears

Sean Dyche admitted it was a "missed opportunity" as Burnley lost 2-1 at Manchester City, who played for an hour with 10 men.

Fernandinho was given a straight red card for a scissors challenge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson, but Pep Guardiola brought on Sergio Aguero and David Silva at half-time, with Aguero scoring the second goal after a Gael Clichy opener.

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Ben Mee pulled one back at his old club, but Dyche said: "I think it is a missed opportunity in the sense you're playing against 10 men, on the other hand, you look at the quality they brought on at half-time, and that still gives them an opportunity to win the game.

"They had a good 15/20 minutes at the start of the second half, we managed to get them on the back foot a little then, but they're a strong unit.

"I actually thought we did better 11 v 11.

"I thought our tactics early on, and the way we shut them down from playing out was very good.

"We were going well, then the 10 weirdly disrupted us a bit, which we've seen many times.

"We've done it to other teams, when it gets to that odd thing where they're playing an 'off' shape if you like, and that and the two changes they made made a difference, without a shadow of a doubt."

He felt the Fernandinho decision was correct in the modern climate: "I think the way the rules are now, many years ago when I played that would probably have been a yellow card, but now they talk about the scissor movement and coming off the ground...I don't think it's a terrible challenge but it's a sending off by modern standards."

Guardiola was upset with Burnley's goal, with Mee forcing the ball in, as City felt keeper Claudio Bravo was fouled, but Dyche said: "I've seen the goal back, I just think it's a goal, it's an honest challenge, two, then it drops and goes in. That's just part of the game."

And he felt Bacary Sagna should have seen red for a kick out at George Boyd in the aftermath: "I think it's a tough on because they've given the goal, Boydy is trying to get the ball, the linesman is probably a long way from it, the referee is running back to the centre, but, of course, it's a sending off because he swipes out at Boydy.

"He's just trying to get the back back so they can take the centre.

"But I can only assume the referee and linesman didn't get a clear view of it, but enough response helped them make a decision.

"Maybe the linesman saw it, but not enough to understand it was an actual kick out.

"Our lads, as they do, just tried to get on with it, and we know that probably wouldn't have happened if it was certain other players."

Dyche was trying to bring on Steven Defour before the first goal, and explained: "We felt with the 10, they'd had a good start to the second half and we didn't deal with the ball as well as we should though midfield, so we wanted him to try and get on the ball and try and change the play because we were unsure whether to play up to the front or use width, which we were trying to do.

"We thought that would bring him into the game by switching the play.

"For him, it's a big shift from playing bits of football over the Christmas period to two games in three days. I asked him and he said he'd never done that, and he still has a couple of niggles. He came off Saturday with a tight hamstring and it's one of them, we're trying to inch him along to real fitness."

Meanwhile, Jon Flanagan's knee problem has settled down: "Just as a precaution, its settled down a bit so we're hopeful with that one that it's settled enough."

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