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Burnley fell to a crushing 5-0 defeat at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola, the City boss, heaping praise on two of his players Riyad Mahrez and Fernandinho.

Mahrez scored the fourth goal seven minutes from time and his manager said: “In Anfield, he played so good, that’s why he played today. He played with personality. He scored a great goal, but the assists he created, how aggressive he was, was so good.

“Riyad made a good performance. We knew he was a talented player. He’s a guy who likes to play with the ball. He goes to the byline, can score with left or right. He’s a good signing for us.”

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Fernandinho scored the third and his manager, calling him a gift, said of him: “Fernandinho, in the period we are together, he is so important for us. No doubt about that. Today he was clever, his body shape, every time he received the ball he was ready for it. He was incredible, extraordinary. Today was one of the best performances and he is a key player for us.”

On his team’s performance overall, he said: “Our level at home especially is so high, we’ve won every game at home and played well. We attack well, five different players scored today, so not all the pressure is on Sergio and Gabriel.

“We learn every day, we attack better when they defend deeper. When teams attack us, we have guys with a lot of pace.

“We feel comfortable at home, with our people on our side. The pitch, thank you for groundsman, they help us to play quicker. Even when we rotate players, we can keep going and be consistent in the Premier League and that is so important.”

While acknowledging that we’d come up against a very good side, Sean Dyche, quite rightly, did point to a couple of decisions that didn’t go our way. On the incident in the very first minute, Dyche said: “I am flummoxed to understand where the state of the game is at present. If Kompany’s is not a red, I don’t know what is. Because it’s so early in the game, there’s that weird think about officials where they do don’t do anything, but it’s a red for me. It’s high and on his blind side and Aaron has a two-inch gash on his thigh that needed a couple of stitches, and he did well to last as long as he did.

“It’s just a bizarre twist of the game that it’s is a yellow and people who are diving all over the place get nothing. I just find that bizarre. Later on in the game, Sané’s is a red as well. You can’t just go around a pitch hacking people down with no intent to play the ball.”

But the second goal was infuriating for any number of reasons with the Burnley players stopping when they believed referee Jon Moss had given a penalty. “It’s frustrating and the lesson learned is to play to the whistle,” said Dyche. “We have to deal with the moment and then remonstrate, but before that, I don’t know where to start.

“Sané somehow goes down in a manner that is almost impossible, and the referee looks completely confused. Our players are aggrieved at that and then the referee is going to give a penalty and puts his whistle to his mouth, but doesn’t, and in the meantime their player, who is off the pitch, walks back onto the pitch to cross the ball that has gone out of play, for them to score. I don’t know how many wrong things happened, but there were lots of them.

“It was a bizarre moment in time and the whole stadium had no idea. It was confusing for all, and that was really important for us. The second goal here is so, so important and for the next few minutes we never lost that aggrieved feeling, they scored again and you don’t come back from three goals down here.”

He added: “VAR has to happen. It’s just got to. People just need to look at the game and decide. They are a top side, and they don’t need a leg up. VAR might just balance it up a tiny little bit so that teams like us get a fair crack of the whip. They can still beat you, whether the ref gives a good, bad or indifferent decision, because they are a very good side, but when you are right in it and it’s 1-0, you don’t need that to happen.

“Up until then, we did ok. Doing ok here sounds simplistic, but it’s not easy. But we’d slowly, but surely grown into the game. They had chances and you expect your keeper to make saves, which Joe did, and you expect that you are going to need the big decisions when they come.

“Oddly there were some positives because the will of the team was good. But the fact is that big decisions have gone against us and definitely changed the feel of the game.”

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