MAN CITY 2, BURNLEY 2
Manchester City failed to create a piece of club history by recording a 10th straight win as they were held at home by Barclays Premier League strugglers Burnley.
When City established a 2-0 first-half lead through goals from David Silva and Fernandinho, they looked nailed on to surpass the previous best of nine successive wins which had been achieved on two previous occasions in 1912 and 2011.
City must have thought they were home and dry as they switched off in the second half enabling battling Burnley to produce a remarkable comeback.
Goals from George Boyd and Ashley Barnes stunned City who had not surrendered a two-goal lead in a game since October 2009.
And it was a lost opportunity after leaders Chelsea had been held at Southampton as City would have reduced their lead at the top of the table to one point had they beaten the Clarets.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted it was a missed opportunity declaring: “Of course when you are winning 2-0, it is disappointing to lose two points.
“May be when we were winning 2-0, we thought it was over, but it is never over until the final whistle.
“We have finished the first round of matches with 43 points which is a good total and I think we will be the best team in the second round.”
Pellegrini was happy with City’s first-half display, but they were unable to maintain the high tempo in the second period blaming the heavy pitch at West Brom two days earlier which had sapped their energy.
City’s manager added that his side experienced misfortune in the second half.
“Their first goal was clearly offside and they scored again after a rebound and it showed two balls can decide the score,” he continued.
Yaya Toure was rested while Gael Clichy dropped to the bench, the two changes from the side which kicked off at West Brom on Boxing Day as Aleksandar Kolarov and Fernandinho won places in the starting line up.
It was a fairly uneventful opening, though City created a number openings. Martin Demichelis had a goalbound shot blocked by Jason Shackell while James Milner and Jesus Navas both blazed over from good positions.
The deadlock was broken midway through the half though Silva who latched on to a Navas cut back and produced a delightful turn before shooting low to the left of keeper Tom Heaton.
It was his fourth goal in three games following his return from injury and sixth for the season.
City doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Fernandinho found the net with a peach of a drive from 25 yards which flew in off the underside of the crossbar. What a spectacular way to open his account for the season.
If City thought they were in for a stroll they were mistaken as Burnley halved the deficit within two minutes of the restart.
Danny Ings fired in a low angled shot from the left and Boyd got the decisive touch which took the ball under the body of keeper Joe Hart, though replays suggested he had strayed offside.
The goal gave Burnley a belief they had previously lacked as Shackell’s header looped on to the roof of the net and Ashley Barnes saw a drive flash just wide.
City were unable to find a route to goal, though Samir Nasri forced a decent save from keeper Tom Heaton.
And there was a further shock for City as Burnley made it 2-2 with nine minutes left. Barnes headed on a Shackell free kick and Michael Keane played the loose ball back to the striker who walloped a shot high into the top corner of the net.