Thursday 07 November 2013
Manchester City were held to a fifth consecutive Barclays Premier League draw as Burnley picked up their first away point of the season in a six-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium.
"We certainly don't expect to concede three at home, and we need to address that"
The newly-promoted club raced into a surprise two-goal lead as Graham Alexander converted a 19th-minute penalty, awarded for a handball by Joleon Lescott, before Steven Fletcher made it 2-0 just beyond the half-hour from a Chris Eagles cross.
Mark Hughes's charges hit back either side of the break, Shaun Wright-Phillips driving home before Kolo Toure levelled the match. When Craig Bellamy put City ahead it appeared the home side had ended their winless streak in the top flight. However, substitute Kevin McDonald had the final word when he struck late on to earn Burnley a dramatic point.
The result ended a sequence of five successive Barclays Premier League away defeats for Burnley, but represented a significant blow for the hosts, whose failure to claim a single victory from their last five Barclays Premier League outings resulted in their displacement from the top four by Tottenham Hotspur, who overcame Sunderland 2-0.
"We certainly don't expect to concede three at home, and we need to address that," Hughes said. "It is frustrating and disappointing because we got ourselves into a winning position. We have to learn to see games out because we have drawn two games at home from winning positions."
"There is an unbelievable spirit in our dressing room"
Burnley manager Owen Coyle, meanwhile, was understandably delighted with the character shown by his side's refusal to be bowed, even if they did let slip a 2-0 lead.
"We are on a learning curve and if we had been an experienced Premier League team we would have seen it off," he said. "There is an unbelievable spirit in our dressing room.
"We are the smallest town to be in the Premier League, but we are determined to give this a real fight. Getting into the Premier League was an unbelievable achievement, but staying in it would exceed that by some distance."
Unfortunately for Burnley their attempts to remain in the division faltered as they were relegated along with Hull City and Portsmouth after collecting 30 points from 38 matches, five points short of safety.
City's run of draws continued for two more matches, and despite subsequent victories over Chelsea and Sunderland Hughes was replaced the following month by Roberto Mancini, who was unable to lead his side to a top-four finish.