Tuesday 13 November 2018

No malice in Lennon challenge, insists Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany

Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt the Belgian’s challenge was worthy of a straight red card.

Vincent Kompany insists his early challenge on Burnley’s Aaron Lennon was not malicious (Martin Rickett/PA)
Vincent Kompany insists his early challenge on Burnley’s Aaron Lennon was not malicious (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Vincent Kompany insists there was nothing malicious in his controversial challenge on Aaron Lennon in Manchester City’s defeat of Burnley on Saturday.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt the City captain should have been sent off for his high challenge on Lennon in the first minute at the Etihad Stadium.

Lennon was able to play on after treatment but Dyche also revealed that the Clarets winger needed two stitches in a wound on his thigh.

REACTION | Post-match thoughts from the Gaffer following Burnley's tough afternoon in Manchester. WATCH MORE ➡️ https://bit.ly/2q14Xfh

Posted by Burnley Football Club on Saturday, October 20, 2018

Kompany said: “It certainly wasn’t on purpose. It’s happening a bit blindside. I think I got my studs on his leg but it’s (going for) the ball. I think I got it and luckily he wasn’t injured. That’s the main thing.”

City took advantage of the reprieve to win 5-0 and maintain their pace at the top of the Premier League.

With just nine games played, City have already scored 23 goals and conceded just three.

Kompany feels the side have improved at both ends of the field since last season – even though last term saw the club win the title with a record-breaking 100 points and 106 goals.

The Belgium defender said: “We work hard, try to improve everything. You might look at the five goals and say, ‘How good is the attack’? That’s a mistake, it’s the team who build it up from the back.

“And if you look at the fact we didn’t concede and say, ‘How good is the defence?’ that’s a mistake too. The strikers press from the front and make sure we recover the ball fast so we don’t concede too many chances.

“That’s what we’ve worked on, making sure the team can play both sides of the game.”

With Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane on target, Saturday proved a difficult afternoon for Burnley’s former City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

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Joe Hart endured a frustrating return to the Etihad Stadium (Martin Rickett/PA)

Hart, who won two titles with City, was making his first appearance at the ground since leaving the club in the summer.

Kompany said: “He was paramount to his team, he made some incredible saves on the line.

“I can only reiterate how much of a legend he is for this club. It can’t be underestimated what an impact he’s had on helping to build this place and make it what it’s become today.”

City are back in action on Tuesday as they face Shakhtar Donetsk in Kharkiv in the Champions League.

John Stones filled in at right-back against Burnley in the absence of Kyle Walker and Danilo, who both suffered injuries on international duty, and may have to do so again.

Manager Pep Guardiola is hopeful Walker will recover from a groin problem in time but he is currently a doubt.

Guardiola said: “I don’t have many options in that position but I congratulated John in the locker room because I know it’s (not) his position and he did really well.”

Press Association

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