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Thoughts on the Burnley victory

Heading into Saturday's game, many of the City bloggers predictions - whilst confident of a win - largely had a concensus that it would be a hard fought, narrow victory.

And with Tottenham falling to a defeat at Sunderland shortly before we kicked off, this could only have served to increase the trepidation as it now meant that three points would see us move back into the top four.

However, any nerves that may have been in evidence were very quickly blown away - in fact, in just under seven minutes - as City stormed to a three goal lead before some fans had even got themselves comfortable.

It was a remarkable start to a game, and the image of Brian Laws' face after the third goal illustrated it perfectly - complete and utter shock as City hammered nail after nail into his sides relegation coffin. It was as destructive a period of play as I have seen in some time and by half-time we were five goals to the good with only the increasing rainfall a danger to us.

When Emmanuel Adebayor returned from suspension, Roberto Mancini vowed to field a more attacking 4-4-2 with some of the more defensive shackles thrown off. This attacking line-up paid dividends on Saturday, and as abject as Burnley's defending was, some of our play going forward was utterly dominant, and it is not over-stating things to suggest we could easily have come away with the score in double figures.

The time and space that was created was remarkable as wave after wave of attacks left Burnley looking outnumbered, and equally impressive was the threat carried on set pieces - so long an area of our game that was toothless.

Of course there are tougher games that lie ahead - and it is a constant theme that our run-in is referred to when predictions are being made. This is too simplistic a view, and omits the fact that a victory like this not only builds momentum and confidence in the side, but was a statement victory that only a convicing performance such as this can generate.

What is also noticeable from this side (and again, has been another criticism levelled at them) is how focused they look. This is where the players and Roberto Mancini deserve great credit. They appear very single minded in their pursuit of the top four, and in contrast to Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa do not have any distractions from their goal of Champions League qualification.

Whilst tough fixtures lie ahead, home advantage cannot be underestimated and with four of the remaining six games at home, I think we are slightly in the driving seat. Birmingham at home next weekend will be a tough fixture, but with Tottenham not playing until after we next play (when they start their stretch of games against Arsenal, Chelsea and United) a four point gap next Sunday evening will likely feel a lot bigger.