FULL TIME: Burnley 1-1 Manchester City
And that’s that! Burnley have taken a point off the runaway league leaders! Thing is, while City were dominant in terms of possession, territory and chances created, you can’t say Burnley don’t thoroughly deserve the draw. They were magnificently resilient in the face of all that pressure, then turned the screw a bit themselves as the game entered its final phase. A fine match between two teams who are both superb in their own way. So City are just – just! – 16 points clear of United, while Burnley remain in seventh, though Leicester can overtake them later today if they see off Swansea. Poor old Raheem Sterling, though; he’ll replay that miss in his mind before he nods off tonight.
90 min +3: Barnes is booked for some over-zealous behaviour. De Bruyne lumps the ball into the Burnley mixer, but Pope claims. Turf Moor cheers the draw they know is surely theirs now.
90 min +2: Otamendi’s loose ball in the midfield allows Hendrick to tear off down the left. Hendrick opts to retain possession rather than cross in the hope of setting up a winner.
90 min +1: Barnes holds the ball by the corner flag awhile. A draw would be most agreeable to Burnley.
90 min: Aguero plays a cute pass down the inside-left channel, nearly finding Diaz in the Burnley box. But the substitute runs the ball out of play. Goal kick. There will be three added minutes. Can anyone find a sensational winner?
89 min: Walker earns a throw deep in Burnley territory down the right. The ball takes quite a while to come back. A collective effort at Turf Moor.
88 min: Pep claps and points, points and claps. But his team aren’t putting any pressure on Burnley right now.
86 min: City are struggling to respond to Burnley’s equaliser. They looked collectively shocked. On the touchline, Guardiola tries to gee them back up with some encouraging clapping.
84 min: How costly does that Sterling miss look now? On the bench, the poor lad has a thousand-yard stare on. Bernardo tries to curl one into the top left from distance, but it’s miles off target.
GOAL! Burnley 1-1 Manchester City (Gudmundsson 82)
This has been coming! Burnley fling crosses into the City box from both wings. City clear, but the ball keeps coming back. Finally Lowton, deep on the right, curls to the far post. Gudmundsson races in from the left to meet it, sidefooting across Ederson and into the right-hand side of the net! Turf Moor erupts!
80 min: Diaz dribbles down the left with extreme prejudice. A wriggly, tricky, magnificent run which nearly opens Burnley up. But Lowton sticks to him with great determination and finally Diaz miscontrols, running the ball out of play. He was knocked half off balance there, too; you’ve seen players go down for less. But he opted to fight gravity and stay on his feet.
78 min: Taylor makes off down the left and sends a bouncer through the City box. Hendrick is free at the far post, but in the one position where the bounce evades him. He can’t meet the cross. But City are looking shaky all of a sudden. Burnley, having held firm, are giving this a proper go now.
77 min: Vokes wins a corner for Burnley down the right. Long rises above Danilo and sends his header over the crossbar from eight yards. The home side are asking City some serious questions now.
76 min: Turf Moor is a cauldron right now. A real sense that Burnley could get something from this match. Pep feels it for sure: he’s prowling the touchline again, doing an awful lot of frowning. He knows his side should be more than one goal up. Will they be made to pay?
74 min: Cork crosses from the right. Lennon latches onto a half-clearance and shanks wide and high from the edge of the box. Meanwhile a dejected Sterling, still reeling from that astonishing miss, is replaced by Diaz.
73 min: This is wonderful end-to-end entertainment! Lowton curls in from the right but can’t find Barnes in the middle. Not quite, but not far off. City go up the other end through Bernardo; he’s rugby tackled by Mee, who goes in the book.
71 min: Sterling misses an absolute sitter! De Bruyne splits Burnley into pieces with a stunning pass down the inside right. Walker is clear! He rolls a cross through the six-yard box. All Sterling has to do is run it into the net, but he opens his body and squirts his shot wide left from a couple of yards!
69 min: And they nearly get that equaliser! Burnley suddenly turn up the heat on City. Barnes, out on the left, hooks inside for Cork, who runs hard at City’s back line. Lennon is free down the inside right. Cork slips the pass across for Lennon, who pearls a shot towards the top right from 12 yards. But Ederson tips the shot onto the right-hand post! City deal with the rebound, and Lennon holds his head in his hands. So close to a goal on his home debut!
67 min: City press Burnley back again, but the home team hold their shape and Gundogan runs the ball out of play down the left. Goal kick. A fair chance Sean Dyche would have taken this scoreline at this stage of the match. Now to see if City can hold onto their slender lead, or extend it. Or can Burnley fashion an equaliser? It’s not as though they haven’t had their chances.
65 min: Burnley load the City box. Gudmundsson curls a high teaser into the area. And once again it’s Mee threatening, failing to connect with a header by mere millimetres, just six yards out. On another day, he could have had a hat-trick! Never mind City’s dominance. Such a wonderful game, football.
64 min: And suddenly here’s a mistake by City, as they overplay at the back. Gundogan is forced to stretch for a loose pass, and brings down Lennon, who was threatening to make off with the ball down the right. That’s a booking, and a free kick, just outside the City box.
62 min: Sterling drops a shoulder and turns on the jets as he continues to hassle Lowton down the City left. He earns yet another corner. Again it doesn’t really bother Burnley much, and the hosts remain just one goal adrift. They are refusing to crumble in the face of relentless City pressure; it’s been a very impressive rearguard performance.
60 min: De Bruyne tries to shape one into the top left, but only blams it into the wall. That’ll be a corner out on the left. Danilo has another pop at goal from distance, but this effort isn’t up to much.
59 min: Long bundles Danilo to the ground as the City full back races towards the Burnley box at pace. This will be a free kick in a very dangerous position, 25 yards out, smack in the middle of the park. De Bruyne’s eyes light up.
58 min: Nothing of any real interest comes from that one. City are thoroughly on top again. But they’re still just one goal ahead. Burnley are hanging in with great determination.
57 min: … Danilo very nearly recreates his sensational goal of the first half! This time Pope manages to fingertip it over the bar. Corner, this time on the right.
56 min: Gundogan glides in from the right and should send Sterling, running in from the left, free on goal. But his pass is inaccurate. Still, it deflects out for a corner on the left. From which…
55 min: City come so close to their second. Bernardo sashays down the right, moves inside and slips the ball to Aguero, who enters the area down the inside-right channel. He could shoot, but this time opts to shuttle it on for Sterling, on the penalty spot. The ball’s slightly behind Sterling, and though he adjusts well and gets a powerful rising shot away, it’s high and wide of the top-right corner. Right now, another Manchester City goal looks only a matter of time.
54 min: Space for Aguero down the right. He slips the ball inside for Gundogan, who should shoot immediately from the edge of the box, but over-elaborates before pulling the trigger, allowing Burnley to close him down. The ball’s deflected out for a corner, which is plucked from the sky by Pope.
52 min: Sterling is a real handful, like that’s breaking news. Another dribble, ball glued to foot, down the left. He can’t quite prise Burnley open this time, but he’s been very lively in the opening exchanges of this second half.
50 min: Gundogan dribbles in from the right. He runs out of space, but here comes yet another corner. And finally the pressure is released when Danilo balloons a wild effort miles over the bar from distance. A nod to the Six Nations, starting later today.
49 min: Gundogan tries to dig out a shot from the corner. It’s deflected. Another corner. Then Aguero has a try. Another corner! City are turning up the pressure.
48 min: Sterling dribbles with purpose down the left. He reaches the area and lays off to Agureo on his inside. Aguero drops a shoulder to send Mee the wrong way, then shifts the ball left. He swivels to hit into the bottom right, but only smacks the back of the already-busy Lowton. The ball twangs away for a corner on the right.
46 min: Gudmundsson gets Burnley immediately on the attack down the right, winning a couple of quick throws in a row. The second is deep in City territory. Lowton hooks a cross into the City mixer. Kompany clears the ball, heading backwards across the face of his own goal under pressure from Barnes. A very strange way to deal with a dipping ball. That almost came off his back! But it’s safe. Kompany hasn’t really been at the races today.
And we’re off again! Burnley get the ball rolling for the second half, having swapped the injured Bardsley for Lowton. “Please let Gordon Pittendrigh (44 min) know that as there was a Super Blue Blood Moon only a few days ago, all offside calls for this match will be ruled in Manchester City’s favour,” claims Luc Henri de Rennes. “If more cider doesn’t clear that up, your abv% may be too low.”
Half-time reading: There’s a big game in France this weekend, as Monaco take on Lyon in the battle to become best-of-the-rest. Let Paul Doyle be your guide.
HALF TIME: Burnley 0-1 Manchester City
There’s enough time for De Bruyne to flay a long right-to-left pass into the feet of Aguero, who enters the box. He’s one on one with Pope, albeit facing a tight angle. He blooters his shot straight at Pope, who saves with his chest. And that’s that. City have been the dominant side, and Danilo’s goal was a peach. But Ben Mee’s had a couple of chances to equalise. This is far from over. The second half promises much. You’ll stay with us, won’t you?
45 min +2: City stroke the ball back and forth along their back line. They appear perfectly happy to accept 0-1 as a half-time scoreline.
45 min: There were a few stoppages early in this half, so there’ll be four extra minutes tacked onto the end of it.
44 min: It’s been a fine half of football, it’s fair flown by. But it’s petering out now. Not a great deal going on. “I admit that a few cans of cider may be influencing my thoughts, but am sure that I can remember understanding the offside rule (36 min) in my younger days,” begins Gordon Pittendrigh. “Now I can’t work out who is or isn’t interfering or what phase of the moon we are in until the referee blows or doesn’t blow his whistle. Perhaps more cider will clear things up.”
42 min: De Bruyne tries to break upfield and is hauled back by Cork. Burnley’s second booking of the day comes in short order. Here’s Adam Kline-Schoder: “I think it’s awfully thoughtful of Man City to print CITY in large (very faint) letters across the backs of their tops so that when you’re chasing them towards your own goal you know which team you’re playing.”
41 min: Lennon dribbles hard at Walker … and leaves his man sprawling on the deck with a wonderful jink and swerve! He reaches the edge of the area but is hustled out of it by Gundogan. Still, that’s his first meaningful run today, and will give him confidence for the rest of the game.
39 min: City, perhaps shaken back into action by Burnley’s recent sorties upfield, launch another attack themselves. De Bruyne zips through the middle of the park and lashes hard towards the bottom left. Pope parries well but can only send the ball straight back out to Aguero on the penalty spot. But it’s travelling at pace, and Aguero can’t control with his chest. The ball ricochets back to the keeper in the harmless style.
38 min: Long is booked for a late clip on Gundogan in the midfield. No real complaints.
37 min: The corner’s hit deep from the right. On the left-hand corner of the six-yard box, Mee wins a header and sends it wide left, but not by much. On another day, Mee could have had two goals! Given the overall balance of this game, that’s a slightly strange state of affairs. But there it is.
36 min: Burnley are slowly working their way back into this game. A bit more possession and territory. Hendrick floats one into the City box from the left, forcing Kompany to eyebrow out for a corner. Barnes was miles offside behind him, but not considered to be interfering with play.
34 min: Kompany still hasn’t quite got into the swing of things today. He sends another slightly misjudged backpass towards Ederson, who has to drop a shoulder to wriggle away from Vokes and clear. It was a high-wire act.
32 min: The corner comes to nothing. But that’s going to give the home side succour; it’s their first effort on target. City have already had seven.
31 min: A free kick for Burnley in the centre circle, and a chance for the hosts to throw a few men upfield and push City back towards their own box. Some head-tennis on the edge of the area. Cork, to the left of the D, hooks a pass across the box … and it drops to Mee, clear and onside, 12 yards out! Mee sweeps towards the bottom right, but Danilo gets down to turn the effort around the post. What a chance for Burnley to equalise! Against the run of play, it has to be said.
30 min: Otamendi sends a lovely pass down the inside-right channel for De Bruyne, who barrels into space. He slips the ball inside for Sterling, who one-twos with Gundogan as the pair enter the Burnley box. It’s all a bit too intricate and Sterling can’t get the ball out from under his feet, when he really wanted to finally pull the trigger. Pope snaffles. A lovely counter-attack, though.
28 min: Now it’s Sterling trying a Danilo. He shimmies in from the left but there’s no juice in his curler, and the ball nestles comfortably in Pope’s midriff.
27 min: The Turf Moor faithful are a little bit quiet right now. City are utterly dominant, the home side finding it very difficult to spend any meaningful time in the opposition half.
25 min: Aguero dribbles down the inside left. He enters the box and has Sterling in acres of space in the middle. He’s entitled to shoot himself, though, and that’s exactly what he does, attempting to replicate Danilo’s wonder strike. But curling it into the top right is not quite as easy as Danilo made it look back there, and his effort is blocked.
24 min: Cork clips away at the heels of Sterling. He’s perhaps fortunate not to go in the book, but the referee opts for a quiet word instead.
WHAT A GOAL! Burnley 0-1 Manchester City (Danilo 22)
The ball’s worked back down the left channel for Danilo, who from 25 yards curls across Pope and into the top-right corner. A sweeter strike you’ll never see, a goal of gorgeous simplicity and perfection! Pope had no chance whatsoever! A goal from the second it left Danilo’s boot. What a wonderful finish!
21 min: Walker curls into the Burnley box from the right. Mee takes a fresh-air swipe. Gundogan nearly connects with a flick. Long knocks it out for a corner on the right. Bernardo and Fernandinho cause a bit of trouble, forcing Long to concede a corner on the other side. From which …
19 min: Ederson races out of his area to intercept a Vokes flick-on. Barnes wasn’t far away from getting to the ball first. Ederson briefly considers going on a gander down the left wing, but Vokes is quickly up in his grille, and he thinks better of it. The ball is hoicked into touch upfield. Not the City way, but the sensible one in this particular situation.
18 min: Kompany passes back to Ederson with some feeling. Hoof! Ederson does amazingly well to trap and dispatch the ball back upfield, under great pressure from Barnes. Then Kompany hesitates again, this time Vokes turning up the heat. Kompany blooters the ball off the striker and out for a goal kick, but City’s captain isn’t quite up to speed with this match yet. Very hesitant there.
16 min: Now it’s Pope’s turn to have his knee prodded gingerly by the company doctor. Like Bardsley before him, he’ll be good to continue as well. But Burnley have been in the wars.
14 min: Bernardo cuts in from the right but can’t work space to shoot. De Bruyne has a go instead. His effort is blocked, deflecting out for a corner on the right. After some set-piece fiddling, the ball’s swung in. Kompany contests it at the far post. He doesn’t connect, and the ball sails inches wide of the left-hand post. He clatters into Pope, who’ll require some treatment.
13 min: City have enjoyed 78% possession so far. But Burnley have contributed too. It’s a nice, open game.
11 min: Pope kicks big down the middle. The ball rears up, 30 yards from City’s goal, and Vokes momentarily threatens to trap it and tear clear on goal. But Otamendi has read the bounce well, and hooks it away from danger at the last second. The crowd ooh and aah accordingly. Great play all round. It’s dreadfully out of fashion, of course – in fact, it’s never been in vogue – but long-ball football can be fun too.
9 min: Walker sails in from a deep position on the right, making a long diagonal run which concerns Burnley. He attempts a flick down the inside-left channel to release Gundogan, but the hosts slam the door shut. City are enjoying the lion’s share of possession, like that’s news.
7 min: Vokes seems fine, once the sting subsides. Bardsley is grimacing quite a bit, though, the physio having taken a good look at that knee. Both players will continue, but it’s been an old-school start to the match, with some hard-but-fair challenges.
6 min: Kompany meets the corner with a crashing header. Pope claims well. Also crashing: Bardsley and Vokes, both to the ground. Fair 50-50 challenges, but the Burnley men have come off worst, Vokes with a shoulder to the face, Bardsley tweaking his knee.
5 min: Before the set piece can be taken, Barnes receives some treatment having landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge. He’ll be good to continue by the looks of it.
4 min: Walker very nearly loses the ball on the edge of his own box, but at the last minute pokes it forward, and suddenly City are on the attack. Bernardo Silva sweeps the ball to the left wing, and isn’t far away from releasing Sterling into the area. Not quite. But then there’s another phase of attack, and Bernardo is making good down the right. He earns a corner off Mee.
2 min: Another loose City pass, and Pep is already on the touchline, prowling, frowning, muttering. Ever the perfectionist.
And we’re off! City get the ball rolling, and within six seconds spray it out of play. Most out of character. Burnley make their way down the pitch, winning another throw. Bardsley has the chance to swing the ball into the box, but hesitates, allowing Kompany to come over, nick it, and win a free kick. A fairly scrappy start, it has to be said.
The teams are out! Burnley are in their famous claret and blue, while Manchester City sport third-choice black, their first-choice blue and second-choice purple clashing. A cracking noise being made at this atmospheric old ground, despite the drizzle in the north-western sky. We’ll be off in a minute, but in the meantime, here’s Ian Copestake, brazenly changing the subject: “You mentioned the 1959-60 season and the name of Denis Law. Newly signed for a (then) club record fee of 55 million, sorry thousand, pounds from Huddersfield, is it the stuff of common legend whether Shankly wanted Law at his new club, Liverpool?” Yes, I think Shankly wanted Law … and Jack Charlton from Leeds. Didn’t get either, of course. Can’t quite recall whether it was one of the many times he threatened to walk as a result, playing the board like a flute. He ended up with Ian St John and Ron Yeats, of course, so things didn’t work out so bad for him over the long haul, huh.
Sean Dyche speaks! “Aaron Lennon came on the other night and affected the game, he added pace and productivity. Vokes coming on changes our system; hopefully we’ll get the result we want, which is a win. It’s important to remember our mentality: City are a great side, but they are human beings, even though sometimes this season they have looked beyond that! But we take the challenge on, this is what we want to be part of in the Premier League, you’ve got to play the big boys. We’ve got everything to gain, nothing to lose. We understand the power of Manchester City. But this isn’t an easy place to come, despite results. We’ve played the top three sides in the last three home games, and we’ve been inches away from getting something from the game. Performances have been pretty good actually. But you’ve got to turn that into results, of course.”
Pep speaks! “We played two-and-a-half days ago, and felt that two days was too much for Aymeric, who hasn’t taken one serious training session since he came. And Vinny when he is fit is a very important player to us. We have only named six players on the subs bench because we don’t have any more. That is the reason why! We could take one from the second team but they had a game yesterday. We always think about what’s next, not about the future. There are still a lot of games to play. We have spoken about Burnley, who they are, what they do, and what we have to do. It is always tough here. They are a team who do not concede goals, it is difficult to create chances. And at free kicks and corners they are maybe the best team in the Premier League.”
Burnley – nine games without a win – make two changes to the team sent out at Newcastle on Wednesday night. Ashley Westwood and Scott Arfield drop to the bench, allowing Sam Vokes to lead the line and Aaron Lennon to make his first start for his new club.
Manchester City – on a four-match winning streak – make three changes to the team named against West Bromwich Albion the other day. Aymeric Laporte and Alexander Zinchenko drop to the bench, while David Silva is recovering from a knock. Stepping up: Danilo, Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan.
Burnley: Pope, Bardsley, Long, Mee, Taylor, Lennon, Hendrick, Cork, Gudmundsson, Barnes, Vokes.
Subs: Lowton, Nkoudou, Westwood, Wells, Lindegaard, Arfield, O’Neill.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Danilo, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling.
Subs: Bravo, Laporte, Adarabioyo, Zinchenko, Toure, Diaz.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
Burnley became champions of England in 1960 by beating Manchester City. They required a win in their final game of the season at a tense Maine Road on a Monday night. They managed it, pipping Wolverhampton Wanderers by a point to deny Stan Cullis’s great side a title hat-trick.
Brian Pilkington gave Burnley a fourth-minute lead. Joe Hayes equalised for City soon after, but 20-year-old reserve winger Trevor Meredith restored the visitors’ advantage on the half hour, battering home a ball that had squirted out of a penalty-box melee. Denis Law missed a golden chance to level again in the second half, while Alan Oakes shot straight at Clarets keeper Adam Blacklaw when one on one right at the very end. And that was that. Burnley were the champions. City finished 16th that season.
Times change, huh? Yes they do, yes they do. Burnley are highly decent this season, seventh in the Premier League with the fourth-best defensive record in the country. But City are on another plane. They’ve only dropped seven points all season! No need to go into more detail, we all know the story by now. Suffice to say, Pep Guardiola’s astonishing side have already beaten Burnley twice at the Etihad this season, 3-0 in the Premier League and 4-1 in the FA Cup. Sean Dyche’s charges are up against it, then, but will take heart that City have dropped points in their last two away games, at Crystal Palace and Liverpool. There’s always hope. And whatever happens this lunchtime, they’ll always have Maine Road.
Kick off: 12.30pm GMT.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010