Tue, Dec 30, 2014 - Page 20 News List

City squander 2-0 lead to draw with lowly Burnley

AP, MANCHESTER, England

Manchester City midfielder David Silva, right, scores against Burnley in their English Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Manchester City threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at home to struggling Burnley on Sunday, squandering the chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to one point.

David Silva and Fernandinho scored for City in a commanding first-half display, but George Boyd began Burnley’s comeback two minutes after the break and Ashley Barnes grabbed the equalizer in the 81st minute.

“Maybe winning 2-0 we thought the game was over, but until the last whistle the game is never finished,” Pellegrini said. “It is clear we couldn’t keep the same intensity in the second half.”

Burnley’s fightback denied City a club record 10th successive win, but the promoted side remain in the relegation zone.

“I thought the endeavor was high, I though the organization was high,” Burnley manager Sean Dyche said. “I can’t work out why I keep reading about struggling Burnley, because we’re not struggling.”

Burnley had a good spell early on, but failed to take advantage of some good openings before Silva’s well-worked 23rd-minute opener.

Fed by Samir Nasri on the right flank, Jesus Navas turned the ball back inside to find Silva, who had the space to turn and a drill home a low shot for his fourth goal in three appearances.

City doubled their lead 10 minutes later after more patient approach play.

Nasri looked to have been crowded out on the edge of the area, but Fernandinho had more space behind him and took a touch before lashing home a powerful curling shot off the underside of the bar.

City looked in control and went close to a third before the break when Navas tested Tom Heaton with a powerful shot following another quick break.

City received a further boost at halftime with the news that Chelsea’s game had finished at Southampton, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side were shocked within two minutes of the restart.

Danny Ings got the better of Pablo Zabaleta on the left and shot across goal. City goalkeeper Joe Hart looked to have it covered, but Boyd nipped in and, despite suspicions of offside, appeared to get a final touch to divert the ball into the net.

“The first goal was very important for them because they improved a lot and had a lot of trust,” Pellegrini said.

Burnley began to look a much tougher proposition as Ings flashed a shot narrowly wide and Jason Shackell headed over.

Pellegrini decided it was time to introduce a striker and Stevan Jovetic came off the bench to provide the team with a new focal point, but still Burnley dug in and were rewarded with the equalizer.

Kieran Trippier’s free-kick was flicked on by Barnes. It rebounded off Michael Keane back into Barnes’ path and he struck a ferocious shot from inside the area that flew into the top corner.

City were unable to muster a decent response and Burnley held on to celebrate an impressive result in their fight to secure a second season in the Premier League.

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