Barnes thunderbolt keeps Man City trailing
London, December 29
Manchester City threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at home to struggling Burnley overnight, squandering the chance to close the gap on leader 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 equaliser in the 81st minute.It leaves the defending champions, who played without a recognised striker, still three points behind Chelsea, which was held 1-1 at Southampton.
Burnley’s fightback denied City a club record 10th successive win but the promoted team remains in the relegation zone.
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 and he had the space to turn in a drill home a low shot for his fourth goal in three appearances.
City doubled its 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 as Navas tested Tom Heaton with a powerful shot following another quick break.
City received a further boost at half-time with the news that Chelsea’s game had finished at Southampton, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side was 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.
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 was rewarded with the equaliser. 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 was unable to muster a decent response and Burnley held on to celebrate an impressive result in its fight to secure a second season in the Premier League.