Burnley ‘disgust’ at racist plane banner
Manchester City claimed a dominant 5-0 win over Burnley on Monday night to extend Liverpool's wait for the Premier League title - on a night where a racist banner flew high above the stadium.
Burnley were quick to place on record their disgust after a banner with the message 'White Lives Matter Burnley' flew above the Etihad Stadium during the Clarets' English Premier League game at Manchester City.
The message stood a stark and unwelcome contrast to the shows of unity and support that have taken place since the Premier League resumed, with all players wearing 'Black Lives Matter' on their shirts and taking a knee before kick-off.
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Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez grabbed two goals each with Mahrez finishing off a brilliant solo run on 43 minutes before slotting in an injury time penalty to complete a 3-0 first half.
City striker Sergio Aguero limped off injured after his foot was caught by Ben Mee for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to award the penalty. In the second half, David Silva scored and Foden's second strike earned the Manchester side a comprehensive victory at an empty Etihad Stadium. Liverpool are 20 points clear of second-placed City and need five more points to become Premier League champions.
Juergen Klopp's side will need to win against Crystal Palace on Wednesday and hope City drop points against Chelsea on Thursday for their first league title in 30 years to be confirmed this week.
Burnley meanwhile sit 11th in the table with 39 points after their unbeaten run of seven games before the coronavirus suspension came to an end.
They were embarrassed on and off the pitch as an offensive banner was flown above the Etihad in the early stages of the 5-0 drubbing.
A statement released at halftime read: "Burnley Football Club strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the aircraft and offensive banner that flew over The Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.
"We wish to make it clear that those responsible are not welcome at Turf Moor. This, in no way, represents what Burnley Football Club stands for and we will work fully with the authorities to identify those responsible and issue lifetime bans.
"The club has a proud record of working with all genders, religions and faiths through its award-winning Community scheme, and stands against racism of any kind.
"We are fully behind the Premier League's Black Lives Matter initiative and, in line with all other Premier League games undertaken since Project Restart, our players and football staff willingly took the knee at kick-off at Manchester City. We apologise unreservedly to the Premier League, to Manchester City and to all those helping to promote Black Lives Matter."
Can't get over that. 'All lives matter' is terrible enough, but at least there's some wiggle room for people who don't understand the point they're making. 'White lives matter' is just 100% overtly racist and there's no excuse.— Sam Lee (@SamLee) June 22, 2020
Football correspondent for The Athletic, Sam Lee, said on Twitter the banner was an "absolute embarrassment" and an "absolute disgrace".
Burnley captain Ben Mee addressed the incident after full-time.
"We can talk about football but there's something I want to speak about first, the aeroplane that went out at the beginning of our game," he told Sky Sports.
"I'm ashamed, I'm embarrassed that one of our fans decided to put that around the stadium.
"Completely missed the point. The group of lads in there are embarrassed to see that and it's not what we're about at all. It missed the whole point of what we're trying to achieve, what we're trying to do.
"I think these people need to come into the 21st century and educate themselves.
"It does not represent what we're about, what the club's about, what the players are about and what the majority of the fans are about.
"It's a small minority of people and I'm really upset that it happened."
Originally published as Burnley 'disgust' at racist plane banner