HALCYON DIGEST: Hitting Burnley for six

With our potential banana skin clash with Burnley just around the corner, we take a look back at not one but two happy, high-scoring victories over the Clarets from yesteryear.

Burnley 0-6 Manchester City – 9th March 1999

goater-burnley

City travelled to Turf Moor as the form team in Division Two, despite having just been held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Northampton Town three days earlier.

Joe Royle had instilled some much needed solidity in the team – namely the addition of Andy Morrison in October – which had virtually become watertight, having conceded just three goals since a 2-1 defeat to York City at Bootham Crescent on 19 December.

That result kick-started City’s season and the side had gone on an eleven game unbeaten run and were looking to extend that further at the expense of Burnley. Stan Ternant’s side were in the middle of a somewhat sticky spell having been thumped 5-0 by Gillingham in their previous home outing with a certain Robert Taylor scoring all five goals.

The arrival of City to Lancashire drew the Clarets’ biggest home crowd of the season as 17,251 spectators gathered en masse to watch arguably the most reputable club in the division strut its stuff (“You’re only here ‘cos of City!” springs to mind…).

First half goals from Kevin Horlock and Morrison had put the visitors in a commanding lead at the interval, with home supporters fearing the worst ahead of another 45 minutes of devastating attacking football.

Shaun Goater bagged a hat-trick in 15 second half minutes to put the game beyond all doubt before Danny Allsopp calmly slotted past a bewildered Paul Crichton to complete the 6-0 demolition late on and send the travelling faithful into raptures.

Shell-shocked Burnley fans left Turf Moor in disbelief: eleven goals conceded and none scored in two home games and a crunch derby with Preston North End to come at the weekend.

That victory would be the last in City’s twelve game unbeaten run as Oldham Athletic left Maine Road with all three points the following weekend with a smash and grab 2-1 win.

The Blues would only lose one more game between then and the end of the season – another 2-1 defeat at home, this time to Wycombe Wanderers in late April. That victory effectively ensured the Chairboys’ survival as Neil Smillie’s side avoided the drop by just one point – as, incidentally, did Oldham.

On the other hand, City’s turn-of-the-year form ensured that they climbed the table to secure a place in the play-offs, and we all know what happened next.

Burnley 1-6 Manchester City – 3rd April 2010

Burnley v Manchester City - Premier League

Traditionally, this is a fixture that City have fared well in over the years. Before George Boyd’s winner for the Clarets in our previous meeting on 14th March 2015, you’d have to go back to 12th October 1974 to find Burnley’s last victory over the Blues.

That was a 2-1 success at Turf Moor – the scene of one of City’s finest opening few minutes on 3 April 2010. Roberto Mancini’s side were chasing Champions League football and the race for fourth place was an enthralling four-way sprint between City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Aston Villa – it was just a question of who, if anyone, would run out of steam.

City travelled to Burnley looking to build momentum, knowing that victory would take them back above Harry Redknapp’s Spurs into the final Champions League spot with just six games remaining.

Manchester City's Italian manager Robert

Mancini, appointed as manager mid-way through the campaign after the dismissal of Mark Hughes, had City playing good football and with just one defeat in eight games – including the stunning 4-2 victory at Chelsea in late February – were in a rich vein of form.

With the Clarets fighting for Premier League survival, this was an opportunity for City to send a statement of intent to the chasing pack – and boy, did they do it in style.

Brian Laws’ side were blown away by City’s incredible start to the game and the contest was effectively over with just six minutes gone. Goals from Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez saw the visitors race into a 3-0 lead before the game had barely started to put Mancini on course for a precious three points.

Manchester City's Belgian player Vincent

Patrick Vieira powered home a header and then Adebayor added his second on the stroke of half-time. Vincent Kompany made it six in front of the travelling supporters, who had been treated to a feast of goals, before Steven Fletcher netted a late consolation for the hosts.

The result saw Burnley slip further into trouble – three points from safety with only five games left to play. The Clarets bounced back with a 4-1 victory over fellow strugglers Hull City, but failed to register another win until the final day – a 4-2 triumph over Spurs at Turf Moor. By that point, they had already been relegated.

Elsewhere, City, buoyed by the dismantling of Burnley, went onto thrash Birmingham City 5-1 in their next outing with Tevez and Adebayor both netting twice and Nedum Onuoha scoring a rare goal too.

But five points from the remaining five games saw the dream of Champions League football slip away as Spurs stole the initiative to finish three points clear of the Blues, courtesy of their 1-0 victory at the Etihad in the penultimate game of the season.

Written by Chris Wildgoose

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