City Dealt Title Blow At Turf Moor
Monday, 16th Mar 2015 10:05
Manchester City’s Premier League title defense was dealt a further blow Saturday with a first loss to Burnley in 41 years. The Citizens struggled to click throughout the game, although both Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero did go close. However, the moment of the match came courtesy of George Boyd’s sweetly-struck effort on the hour-mark which gave Joe Hart no chance.
Both teams matched each other in the midfield areas for the first half hour without managing to create anything likely to lead to a goal.
Jesús Navas made a couple of promising runs down the right but could not come up with the cross his team-mates were looking for while, apart from an optimistic Danny Ings appeal for a penalty for handball, most of Burnley’s moves broke down even further from the area.
City began to test Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who saved well from Edin Dzeko midway through the first-half. But having scored six goals on two of their last four visits to Turf Moor, the champions were not displaying their usual ruthlessness in this fixture.
The second half proved a much livelier affair with both sides showing greater urgency.
Aguero stretched the Burnley defence with a nice turn and run from halfway but Silva’s touch let him down when he was played through on goal by the Argentine.
Aguero then stabbed an effort just wide himself when he met a Zabaleta ball from the right with a quick snap-shot.
Burnley grabbed the lead against the run of play just past the hour when Kieran Trippier floated in a free-kick and Kompany's headed clearance landed perfectly for Boyd on the edge of the area. The winger caught the ball with a perfect left-foot half-volley that flew past Joe Hart low into the opposite bottom corner of the goal.
A few minutes later, Michael Duff was penalised for a foul on Aguero but when the free-kick came in, City substitute Wilfried Bony's header was easy for Heaton to deal with.
City were upping the tempo, and in stoppage time claimed for a penalty when Ben Mee challenged Zabaleta as he ran with the ball into a crowded area.
Referee Andre Mariner waved away the appeals as City saw the Barclays Premier League title slip further from their grasp.
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Photo: Action Images
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