Vincent Kompany was forced to intervene to correct the fourth official during the closing stages of Manchester City‘s win over Burnley after the wrong shirt number was held up during a substitution. The Clarets were two goals behind as the clock ticked down and Kompany was ready the roll the dice by bringing on Manuel Benson for Jordan Beyer.
The fourth official held up the substitution board but showed some early-season rustiness by putting the No 36 was on display. The problem was that no player in Burnley’s matchday squad had that number, prompting a brief moment of confusion on the Turf Moor touchline.
Kompany then approached the fourth official to explain that he had got it wrong, with an assistant referee jogging over to join the conversation. A team sheet was handed over and the correct numbers were shown on the substitution board at the next attempt, drawing ironic cheers from the crowd.
The incident was just one of several bizarre moments that unfolded during the match, which saw City secure a routine win over Burnley thanks to an Erling Haaland brace and a late strike from Rodri. City defender Rico Lewis was struck by a lighter thrown from the stands during a feisty spell in the first half to put a sour note on the Premier League’s opening night.
Lewis clearly looked to be in pain after being hit by the lighter, with Burnley later releasing a statement to confirm that the person who threw it had been ejected from the stadium.
“We are aware of an incident that happened in the first half of the match where a missile was thrown at Manchester City player Rico Lewis,” the statement reads. “This is unacceptable. The person responsible has been identified and removed from the ground by the police. Any individual found guilty of throwing missiles within the stadium will receive a banning order.”
In the second half, a pitch invader was wrestled to the ground by security after attempting to force his way onto the grass. Tempers flared between the players just moments later when Burnley substitute Anass Zaroury was sent off for a heavy tackle on Kyle Walker from behind.
A yellow card was initially shown by the referee before a quick VAR review saw Zaroury’s punishment upgraded to a straight red, sparking loud boos around Turf Moor. The home fans went on to show their displeasure by booing after the final whistle as City’s players congratulated each other and applauded the travelling fans.
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