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  • Burnley FC

    Burnley 1

    Fletcher 71

  • Manchester City

    City 6

    Adebayor 4, 45, Bellamy 5, Tevez 7, Vieira 20, Kompany 58

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  • 03 April 2010 20:25
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

Sometimes a scoreline such as this can be deceptive. Not on this occasion. And when the season comes to be reviewed, it might well be seen as just as significant as Stamford Bridge.

Victory at Chelsea gave the Blues their belief. This one, on the back of as comprehensive a 45 minutes as you could wish for, put City in pole position to pounce on a Champions League spot.

Tottenham's defeat earlier in the day was all the spur City needed, and their biggest win of the season lifted Roberto Mancini's side into fourth place with Tottenham still to visit.

Just as importantly maybe, that combo of top scorer Carlos Tevez and partner Emmanuel Adebayor - fuelled superbly by Adam  Johnson and Craig Bellamy - have slashed the goal-difference deficit to two should it come down to calculators in May.

Throw in his most assured performance yet from Patrick Vieira, responding like the proper player he is to Mancini's worries about his recent form, and City's 2,500 travelling fans had so much to savour.

And what a day for young prospect Alex Nimely, the latest off the Academy production line, to make his senior debut by replacing fans' hero Tevez, whose 26th goal of the campaign confirmed the best haul of his career.

Spurs once knocked three past then-Premier League Oldham in the first seven minutes, but Harry Redknapp's awful day in the north-east was completed by a similar feat from City seven years on.

That whirlwind start simply blew Burnley away. It was quite the most remarkable start to any Blues game this season, and probably many a season come to that

 

No Premier League defence has leaked more goals than Burnley's this season, and those astonishing first seven minutes will live long in the memory for Blues fans lucky enough to witness City's biggest Premier League away win.

Johnson clipped the far post after just three minutes, then the deluge began a minute later as an unmarked Adebayor's fierce shot was deflected under Brian Jensen from an Johnson uncleared corner.

Burnley had no time to catch their breath as the eager Bellamy showed a superb turn of speed to race onto a Tevez through ball bound for Adebayor and tuck his shot beyond Jensen.

Could it get any better for those celebrating Blues? You betcha. And it was cult hero Tevez who made it three, following up with his poacher's instinct when Jensen parried Adebayor's low drive.

City had so much possession - and enjoyed so much room - that at times they must have wondered what was going on. Home fans certainly did: they started to leave their seats for home at 3-0.

For those that stayed, the agony was far from over, and City made it four on 20 minutes through Vieira, who outmuscled Danny Fox at a corner to power his header past helpless Jensen.

Burnley's goal had a couple more narrow escapes before, with home fans willing referee Wiley to blow for the sanctuary of half time, Tevez - who had just spun in the box to rattle a post - sent Adebayor clear to slot home goal No.5.

Burnley made a couple of half-time changes but to little effect, even though on-loan David Nugent at least managed to put Shay Given on the alert twice to liven up his quiet evening.

Any home thoughts of easing their embarrassment though were nipped in the bud by that rare scorer Vincent Kompany, who firmly headed the sixth goal from another Johnson corner.

City's worst fear during a rain-sodden second half was that the referee might answer Burnley prayers and call the game off as standing water reduced the football to a farce at times

 

But there was a Burnley goal, eventually. It went to Steven Fletcher, probably the pick of a poor home side who will find it hard to lift flagging morale after suffering this hammering.

Having nicked their only away point of the campaign with a fighting 3-3 draw at City in November, Burnley came into the game in buoyant mood. By the end, they were well and truly sunk.

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Match details

Saturday 03 April 2010, 5:30PM

Turf Moor Att:21,340
Barclays Premier League

Referee:
Alan Wiley

Teams

Burnley:

Jensen, Mears, Duff, Cort, Fox, Alexander, McDonald (Cork, 46), Nugent, Blake (Elliott, 46), Eagles, Fletcher (Paterson, 80)

Unused subs:
Weaver, Carlisle, Bikey, Thompson

Manchester City:

Given, Onuoha, Toure, Kompany, Sylvinho (De Jong, 66), A Johnson, Barry, Vieira, Bellamy, Tevez (Nimely, 82), Adebayor (Santa Cruz, 79)

Unused subs:
Nielsen, Garrido, Boyata, Wright-Phillips

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.

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