Aguero helps City avoid banana skin
Guardiola's men secure comeback win for the first time this EPL season
(Dean Marney 14)
MAN CITY 2
(Sergio Aguero 37, 60)
This was always going to be a banana skin for Pep Guardiola's title-contenders.
A lunchtime kick-off just two and half days after their energy-sapping Champions League exploits in Germany - against a notoriously hard-working Burnley side with the fourth-best home record in the Premier League, including wins over Liverpool and Everton.
All the signs were there for a huge upset, not least when the City teamsheet showed five changes, with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva on the bench as Pep Guardiola opted to rotate his squad.
Which is why yesterday's 2-1 win at Turf Moor will quite possibly go down as one of Guardiola's most pleasing victories of the season, setting things up nicely for this Saturday's clash with Chelsea.
Burnley, with former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson replacing current Three Lions custodian Tom Heaton - out with a calf strain - started with all guns blazing.
They were unlucky not to have been awarded an early penalty when Jeff Hendrick was shoved in the back by Nicolas Otamendi.
Referee Andre Marriner wasn't interested and moments later, Robinson, 37, was called into action for the first time as he pushed away Sergio Aguero's 25-metre effort.
City had won five out of six on the road going into the game - better than any other Premier League side - but, after 13 minutes, they trailed to Dean Marney's first top-flight league goal for seven years, and what a goal it was.
Robinson pumped a free-kick forward and Marney's stunning volley gave Claudio Bravo no chance.
It was no less than the home side deserved as they worked like Trojans to disrupt City's galacticos, contesting every inch of grass with admirable intensity.
And when the visitors next threatened, the evergreen Robinson, razor sharp in the twilight of his career, dived to his left to keep out Nolito.
Anyone who has watched City this season will know that their Achilles' heel is that they often fail to clear their lines.
Burnley knew that and every time they played the ball into an advanced area, City looked vulnerable.
But, given all their attacking options, Guardiola's side were bound to enjoy a spell of pressure and, by halftime, they were level.
First, Yaya Toure, back to full fitness, fired just wide.
Then it was City's turn to appeal for a penalty when Matthew Lowton slid in late on Nolito.
The next chance brought the equaliser as Burnley failed to clear a corner and Aguero turned the ball home.
Everything suddenly started to go wrong for the hosts, as both Marney and Johann Gudmundsson were forced to hobble off injured.
Robinson pulled off yet another excellent stop as he clawed away Aguero's curler and, not surprisingly, Burnley resorted to defending in depth.
Yet they will be hugely disappointed by the manner in which City came from behind to take the lead on the hour.
A catalogue of errors at the back, including one Burnley player tackling a teammate, allowed Fernandinho to cut the ball back and watch it cannon into the net off Aguero's knee - his 10th goal in 12 games.
Scrappy, lucky, call it what you will, but it was City's 17th goal on the road this season and now, with a bench full of stars, they were in pole position.
Burnley were in no mood to give it away, however.
As they came again with a final push, they proved exactly why they have been such a handful at home for so many opponents, twice almost snatching a last-gasp point.
You could only admire their indefatigable spirit and Guardiola will certainly not forget his first visit to Turf Moor in a hurry, as his players dug in.
But it's a squad game these days and City have at last followed a Champions League outing with a Premier League victory, after failing to do so on the last three occasions.
They also, of course, have talisman Aguero.
The Argentine ace was not at his best yesterday, but indispensable just the same.
We displayed character: Pep
Man City manager Pep Guardiola hopes last night's 2-1 win over Burnley will set the momentum before they host Chelsea this Saturday. Sergio Aguero's brace means that City come from behind to win for the first time this EPL season.
Said Guardiola: "We showed a lot of personality in this stadium... It is almost impossible to defend that (long balls). They are taller than us and the second ball, they are good. They are dangerous.
"All of our players showed huge character and a lot of personality - and, after going 1-0 down at a stadium where only Chelsea are better at home."
Captain Fernandinho knows they must win games like this if they are to lift the Premier League trophy.
"We expected a game like that," the midfielder told BT Sport. "But we scored two goals and turned it around and won the game.
"We want to be champions, we have to play these kind of games." - PA Sport.