Burnley - Manchester
City overcame Burnley's spirited challenge as Sergio Aguero's double
inspired their fightback for a 2-1 win at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Aguero's decisive brace took his remarkable scoring run to 33 goals
in 34 Premier League games after Dean Marney had given Burnley a
surprise lead over the title contenders.
City's recovery secured their sixth win in seven away games and moved
them to the top of the table, although they could surrender pole
position to Liverpool or Chelsea later in the day.
It was the first time this season that Pep Guardiola's team had come
from behind to win, and the first time since September they had won
back-to-back league games, having triumphed at Crystal Palace last time
Burnley sprung a surprise by including former England goalkeeper Paul
Robinson, now 37, after Tom Heaton injured a calf during training to
miss his first game since joining the club.
Robinson, signed on a free transfer from Blackburn, had not played in
the Premier League since 2012 and had gone 802 days without a
first-team game, but he showed he still has the ability that earned him
41 caps and a career that took in Tottenham and Leeds.
Burnley were defending one of the best home records in the Premier
League, having won four of their previous six games - a run bettered
only by Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham - and they took the game to
The visitors were fortunate not to concede a penalty as early as the
fifth minute, but the referee Andre Marriner waved away the protests
when Jeff Hendrick went down after an elbow in the back from Nicolas
Guardiola made five changes
from the team that played in midweek in the Champions League, but they
struggled to come to terms with Burnley's approach and energy.
Robinson did have to tip an effort from Argentina forward Aguero
round a post but then, on 13 minutes, the goalkeeper initiated the
opening goal as Burnley took the lead.
Robinson launched a long free-kick into the City penalty area and
Otamendi's attempted clearing header fell invitingly for long-serving
midfielder Marney, who rifled the ball past Claudio Bravo's dive for his
first Premier League goal in seven years.
City responded but Robinson made a fine one-handed save to deny
Nolito and Aguero lifted his own effort over the bar from Fernandinho's
Burnley eventually succumbed on 36 minutes and almost inevitably, it
was Aguero who scored his ninth goal in 11 Premier League games and 15th
in all competitions, pouncing at the far post after Nolito's initial
shot from a corner had been blocked.
The scene appeared set for City to stride into the lead before
half-time, but Robinson produced his best moment so far, a superb
one-handed flying save to keep out Aguero's fierce shot on the turn.
Burnley, having lost the advantage, also lost scorer Marney to an
injury and then Iceland midfielder Johann Gudmundsson limped off with a
hamstring strain before half-time.
City took the lead on the hour after Yaya Toure went down in the area
and Burnley made a hash of clearing before Fernandinho was able to cut
the ball back towards the near post where Aguero put the ball in with
Burnley refused to go down without a fight, but Michael Keane's
well-directed header was cleared, George Boyd had a shot blocked, and
substitute Ashley Barnes had an overhead kick well saved as City held