February 3, 2018 / 4:28 PM / in 10 months

Soccer: Sterling miss changed the game says Burnley's Dyche

BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling’s astonishing miss from close range was the moment that changed the game in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Turf Moor, Burnley manager Sean Dyche said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley vs Manchester City - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - February 3, 2018 Manchester City's Raheem Sterling in action with Burnley's Nick Pope Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

England international Sterling put the ball wide from two metres in front of an open goal after a low cross from Kyle Walker in the 71st minute and after that let-off Burnley rallied to equalise through Johann Berg Gudmundsson 11 minutes later.

The home side had been chasing shadows for much of the game after Danilo’s 22nd minute strike put City in front.

“We stayed in it and that’s an important thing, if the game plan is not quite to how you want it you have to stay in the game and we did,” said Dyche.

“Second half, they came out and controlled it in the first 15 minutes. You’ve got to be diligent and do all the ugly stuff, which our players are willing to do.

“Then we grew into the game. Their keeper (Ederson) makes an unbelievable save (from Aaron Lennon) and then there is an unbelievable miss. That changed the feeling, the stadium erupted, everyone came with us,” said Dyche.

“Then we played some good stuff, the quality was on show and it was a fantastic goal,” he added, referring to Gudmundsson’s crisp strike from a fine ball into the box from Matt Lowton.

“It was a strange kind of game, which you can have against these because they’re so dominant with the ball, but I am very pleased to come through it with a point,” he said.

Lennon, making his home debut following a January move from Everton, forced an excellent save from Ederson shortly before Sterling’s miss and Dyche was impressed with City’s Brazilian keeper — and not only for his shot stopping ability.

“He is the calmest keeper I have seen. It is like having Ronald Koeman in goal,” he said, referring to the former Dutch international defender renowned for being cool under pressure.

“He gets it (the ball) and spins it around the pitch all over the place, that adds to their gameplan massively because he defuses the game.

“He made two good saves, at least a good save from Ben Mee and a fantastic save from Aaron Lennon, because he has hit it so clean, that’s an unbelievable save.”

Despite leaving the field to the applause of their fans, seventh-placed Burnley have not won in their last nine league games, but Dyche made light of that statistic.

“Perhaps they will knock that one off the run,” he said of Saturday’s draw. “They’re the best side in the division and the best squad in the division...”

Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris

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