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Fernandinho: I don't know what went wrong against Burnley but title race is still open

Fernandinho (right) in action against Burnley. Credit: PA

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho looked on the bright side after the champions squandered the chance to close in on Chelsea.

City blew a chance to move within a point of the Premier League leaders on Sunday as they surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Burnley.

Fernandinho was at a loss to explain City's capitulation. He said: "I don't know exactly what went wrong. In the first half we played so well, and created so many chances to score, but in the second half we didn't do it.

"It was a result we didn't expect but it happened. We need to keep heads up and think about the next game. It is not over, there are still a lot of games to play.

"It is not a bad result - a bad result is losing. We have one point and we will try to win the next game to get the three points.

"Chelsea drew, we drew and the Premier League is still open. The race for the title is still open.

"It is too early to decide the title now, and we need to keep playing and winning games, and we will see what will happen."


Torres: Return to Atletico Madrid is another 'dream'

Fernando Torres admitted it was "another dream" to rejoin boyhood club Atletico Madrid on loan, just two days after agreeing a permanent move to AC Milan from Chelsea.

The Spaniard agreed to make his loan switch from the Premier League leaders to the San Siro a permanent one on December 27, but on Monday was announced as an Atleti player on loan until the summer of 2016.

He told Atletico's official website "I'm going to Atletico in the pursuit of my happiness.

"When I was a child, my dream was to play for Atletico. I achieved that and to come back now is another dream I get to accomplish again. I've been fine with other teams, but there isn't one like Atleti."


Wanderer Popovic linked with Crystal Palace vacancy

Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer will not be standing in Tony Popovic's way if he wants to replace Neil Warnock as Crystal Palace manager.

Tony Popovic: Palace-bound? Credit: PA

The 41-year-old is one of the favourites for the vacant position at Selhurst Park, with another ex-Eagle, Alan Pardew, heading the betting.

Pardew fuelled speculation by ducking his post-match media duties after Newcastle's win over Everton on Sunday, but the Englishman has five-and-a-half years left on his deal in the north-east.

"If he was bettering himself and went to the EPL and he got the top job, I'd be wishing him all the best and good luck to him," Lederer said of Popovic in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The newspaper reported that Palace had contacted Popovic about the job, and Lederer is awaiting talks with his manager.

"I'm absolutely sure we'll be discussing it," said Lederer. "It could be as early as tomorrow or the day after, we'll certainly be discussing it."

Cisse elbow on Coleman 'unacceptable' - Martinez

Roberto Martinez insisted Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse should have been sent off for an "unacceptable" elbow on Seamus Coleman in Everton's 3-2 defeat on Tyneside.

Sharp elbows: Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse. Credit: PA

Replays suggested the latter was fortunate to survive as referee Craig Pawson took no action. Martinez's frustration was compounded four minutes later when Cisse cancelled out Arouna Kone's opener to set up the home side to end a run of four successive defeats.

Asked if the goalscorer should still have been on the pitch at that point, the Toffees boss said: "No, no, he shouldn't.

"One thing is the performance of the two sides; the other is the big moments like that elbow. I don't want to see players sent off for different rules or the laws of the game, but it is unacceptable, that action from Papiss Cisse.

"You don't want to see that on a football pitch, that shouldn't be allowed. Two players fighting for their position at a dead-ball situation and you end up deciding to take the law [into your own hands] by elbowing a fellow professional, it's unacceptable and that should have been a red card."

Cisse seems certain to face disciplinary action over the incident.

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