City faced a tough task with a road match against a Burnley side that is known for fast pace play. Burnley came out in the first half and had a very bright start, pressing City when they were on the ball and causing the defense fits with their grit and determination. But all Burnley could muster up from their build ups were off target shots, giving Joe no cause for concern. City made a strong effort to turn defense into offense, taking advantage when Burnley sent men forward in their attacks. Thirty minutes in City suddenly came to life when a couple of quick chances by Dzeko and Aguero were blocked away by Tom Heaton but alerting Burnley to potential danger. Those two chances for City dominoed into more possession and chances on goal for the champions as they tried to wear out Burnley with their patient passing. In the end, the chances City created weren’t good enough to get on the board and left both teams level at 0-0 at half time.
Burnley came out in the second half with the same tenacity as the first half and instantly put City under pressure. City had a chance to go a goal up but a surprisingly bad first touch by Silva saw the ball skip wide and ending the perfect chance to take the lead. Burnley got their deserved goal following a hard foul by Domiciles that led to a free kick. A weak clearance from Kompany on the free kick found the foot of George Boyd outside the box, whose volleyed shot was bulleted into the back of the net. With Burnley being a goal up it allowed them to sit back and defend their slender lead and defend they did. City’s best chances to equalize came from a beautiful cross into the box by Toure, which found the head of Aguero but the striker put his header over the bar, A chance that summed up City’s performance today. A late penalty shout for City went as a foul against City and a free kick for Burnley.
In the end it was another lack luster performance from City, one deserving of no points and one we are getting far to accustom to this season. Burnley out worked City from the get-go, winning the 50-50 balls and pressuring City into a number of mistakes. It has been a very frustrating second half of the season to watch and continues to make me scratch my head. The same attitude that plagued Mancini’s team defending a title is creeping into this Pellegrini run team, something one would hope would have changed since the previous title defense. Certainly not blaming Pellegrini for this entirely because the players need to be held accountable for their performance as well. The title is being wrapped up with a bow for Chelsea and it now means City need to focus on Barcelona midweek and keeping their position in 2nd of the table to “salvage” something from another disappointing title defense.