Pep Guardiola refused to blame a glaring Raheem Sterling miss for Manchester City's failure to win at Burnley on Saturday.

Pep defends Sterling after miss

Pep defends Sterling after miss

Sterling sidefooted wide in front of an open goal in the second half of the Premier League leaders' 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.

With the score 1-0 at the time of the miss after 71 minutes, Sterling could have settled a hard-fought contest, but the Clarets made the most of the reprieve to equalise through Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

'It is football,' said City boss Guardiola. 'Next day he is going to score a goal. Raheem scored against Southampton in the 96th minute. Today he missed one chance. That can happen.'

Sterling, who has scored 19 goals this season, was substituted soon after his miss, but Guardiola said the two events were not connected.

'No, I didn't do that for that reason,' said Guardiola, whose side had opened the scoring with a superb Danilo strike after 22 minutes.

Despite the result, Guardiola was nevertheless pleased with the performance against a tough opponent.

He said: 'Of course we are sad for the dropped two points, but to come here and play the way we played is almost impossible. We controlled the long balls and we made an amazing build-up. Doing it in Burnley it is so complicated.

'What we have done today is - wow - one of the best performances we have done this season by far. We controlled many situations. That is why I am optimistic.'