By William Wood | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City were held to their fifth successive draw after they fought back from two goals down to take a 3-2 lead, only for Burnley visitors to nab a late equaliser at the City of Manchester stadium.
Mark Hughes opted for his customary attacking trio of Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy, while Micah remained on the substitutes bench.
As the match got underway the heavens opened, making conditions more difficult for both keepers, and Shaun Wright-Phillips looked to take advantage immediately only for his chip to sail over.
Owen Coyle’s game-plan seemed to be working during the opening exchanges with City struggling to attain any level of rhythm, and Burnley seized on their opponent’s cumbersome start when they took the lead after 18 minutes.
Joleon Lescott was adjudged to have handled the ball after Tyrone Mears cross, and Graham Alexander duly dispatched the penalty to make it 1-0 to the away side.
Tensions instantly rose, threatening to spill over, and the tempo seemed to suit Burnley who grabbed a second to silence the home crowd.
Chris Eagles ran at the City defence before laying the ball off to Steven Fletcher, and the forward found the back of the net moments after Shay Given had made an impressive, close-range stop.
City once again looked to respond positively and they thought they had pulled a goal back when Wright-Phillips found the back of the net only for the England midfielder to be flagged for offside, while Brian Jensen tipped Bellamy’s goal-bound drive over a minute later.
Hughes men did, however, pull one back two minutes before half-time as the lively Wright-Phillips saw his shot deflected beyond the Burnley stopper.
The goal may have changed Hughes team-talk and both sides remained unchanged after the break, a decision that seemed to pay off when Stephen Ireland had the goal at his mercy minutes after the restart only for the Irishman to sky the ball over.
City were becoming increasingly dominant and the possession eventually paid off, Kolo Toure levelling proceedings after Lescott’s cut-back, and a shell-shocked Burnley were hit by another blow when the hosts claimed the lead.
Wright-Phillips cut the ball back from the by-line and Bellamy slotted the ball home, and with a scent of blood in the air City pushed for more goals as the Premier League new-boys rocked.
However, the game was nothing if not unpredictable, and with three minutes of normal time remaining David Nugent picked out Fletcher who in turn found Kevin McDonald, with the latter lashing beyond Given to make it 3-3 to break the hearts of the home crowd.
The goal killed off City’s flow and ensured that Burnley could see out the remaining few seconds with relative ease, frustrating a City side who seemingly need a boost of the belief they displayed in abundance earlier in the season.
Manchester City: Given, Bridge, Zabaleta, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Lescott, Adebayor, Toure, Tevez, Bellamy:
Subs: Richards, Johnson, Taylor, Santa Cruz, Petrov, De Jong, Weiss.
Burnley: Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell ©, Fletcher, Elliott, Jensen, Mears, Blake, Bikey, Jordan, Eagles.
Subs: Penny, Duff, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Nugent, Thompson, Guerrero.
Manchester City: Wright-Phillips (43), Toure (55), Bellamy (58)
Burnley: Alexander (19) (pen), Fletcher (32), McDonald (87)