Section: Burnley

Premiership: Man City 2-2 Burnley

Ashley Barnes shocks Man City with late leveller for Burnley

Ashley Barnes struck a stunning equaliser as Burnley staged a remarkable comeback to snatch a 2-2 draw against champions Manchester City.

City had looked set to cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League to one point as David Silva and Fernandinho scored in a commanding first-half display at the Etihad Stadium.

But the battling Clarets responded after the break, controversially pulling one back through George Boyd before Barnes lashed home a brilliant leveller nine minutes from time.

Burnley’s fightback denied City a club record 10th successive win and was a real bonus in their fight against relegation.

City could complain that Boyd looked offside when scoring in the 47th minute but the visitors’ greater energy and determination after the break arguably deserved tangible reward.

City will view it as points dropped given that Chelsea also drew – but they had apparently rested key midfielder Yaya Toure and again started without a recognised striker.

Stevan Jovetic was on the bench after recovering from injury but James Milner again operated as a makeshift centre-forward with Silva playing behind.

There seemed little to alarm them at first. City’s first chance came after five minutes as Boyd diverted a Samir Nasri corner into the path of Martin Demichelis but the defender’s shot was blocked by Jason Shackell.

The pacy Jesus Navas stretched Burnley down the right and Milner did well to nip between two defenders to meet his ball across goal but he shot over from six yards.

Burnley had a good spell themselves early on but they failed to take advantage of some good openings.

Kieran Trippier flicked in a good cross but Barnes was unable to make contact and Dean Marney’s snap-shot from the edge of the area was straight at Joe Hart.

Danny Ings also fired over before City took control with Silva’s well-worked 23rd-minute opener.

The hosts built patiently until finding a way through as Nasri fed Navas down the right. Navas turned the ball back inside to find Silva and he had the space to turn in a drill home a low shot for his fourth goal in three appearances.

City doubled the lead 10 minutes later after more patient approach play.

Nasri looked to have been crowded out on the edge of the area but Fernandinho had more space behind him and took a touch before lashing home a powerful curling shot off the underside of the bar.

City looked in control and went close to a third before the break as Navas tested Tom Heaton with a powerful shot following another quick break.

City’s mood might have been further lifted at half-time with news that Chelsea had been held to a draw by Southampton, but they were shocked within two minutes of the restart.

Ings got the better of Pablo Zabaleta on the left and shot across goal. Hart looked to have it covered but Boyd nipped in and, despite suspicions of offside, appeared to get a final touch to divert the ball into the net.

City almost immediately restored a two-goal advantage as Shackell cleared from Demichelis and Nasri forced Heaton to tip round the post.

But Burnley began to look a much tougher proposition as Ings flashed a shot narrowly wide and Shackell headed over from a Trippier free-kick.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini decided it was time to introduce a striker and Jovetic came off the bench to provide the team with a new focal point. But still Burnley dug in and frustrated City as they tried to launch further attacks.

Frank Lampard also came on in an attempt to steady City’s nerves but Burnley put themselves in sight of an unlikely point after Zabaleta was booked for fouling Shackell.

Trippier lofted the resulting free-kick into the area and Barnes flicked on. It rebounded off Michael Keane back into Barnes’ path and he struck a ferocious shot from inside the area that flew into the top corner.

City were unable to muster a decent response and Burnley held on to celebrate an impressive result.

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Premiership: QPR 2-0 Burnley

Charlie Austin scored his eighth goal of the season as QPR beat fellow strugglers Burnley 2-0 and climbed out of the bottom three for the first time since September.

Austin’s close-range finish looked to have a sealed a valuable three points after Leroy Fer had earlier opened the scoring but the striker gave Burnley hope when he was shown a second yellow card with 15 minutes to play.

Burnley squandered a handful of excellent chances in the second half but Sean Dyche’s side lacked cutting edge in the final third and are now just two points off the bottom of the table.

Much of the build-up to the clash centred around the team’s in-form strikers Austin and Danny Ings, who scored 41 goals between them in the Championship last season.

While Ings missed a handful of half-decent opportunities, it was Austin’s contribution that proved decisive alongside the equally threatening Fer.

Burnley created the first clear-cut chance in the 11th minute when Rob Green fumbled Dean Marney’s cross but the Rangers keeper scrambled to his feet just in time to block Scott Arfield’s follow-up.

Both sides were struggling to establish any rhythm but Burnley’s George Boyd injected some quality into the contest just before the half-hour, unleashing a bending long-range effort which Green did brilliantly to tip onto the post.

Sparked into life, QPR almost took the lead at the other end when the lively Eduardo Vargas nipped past Ben Mee in the penalty area but his shot towards the far corner was cleared off the line by Michael Keane.

Austin had endured a quiet first half but, six minutes after the break, the in-form striker provided the decisive pass for Fer to break the deadlock.

Bobby Zamora played in the former Burnley man, who cut the ball back and despite the brave attempts of Mee to block the finish, Fer bundled the ball home for his second goal in three games.

Burnley almost levelled soon after when Boyd’s driven cross looked destined to find Ings at the far post but the slightest of touches from Richard Dunne saw the ball flash past the striker.

Dunne was again to the rescue moments later when his sliding tackle denied Ings a shot from close range but the Burnley forward should have done better a minute later when he nodded Marney’s cross wide at the far post.

The visitors continued to pile on the pressure as Boyd blazed over from inside the area but Rangers survived and in the 75th minute made their opponents pay by doubling their advantage.

Vargas played a neat one-two with Mauricio Isla to reach the touchline before squaring the ball back to Austin, who slotted home for his sixth goal in seven games.

The goal-scoring hero swiftly turned to villain two minutes later, however, as Austin was adjudged to have elbowed Keane when the pair rose for a header and the QPR striker was shown a second yellow card.

Buoyed by the one-man advantage, Burnley pressed forward looking for a lifeline but it was the hosts who could have added a third had Tom Heaton not blocked Suk-Young Yun’s close-range effort late on.

Rangers played out the dying minutes with ease, sealing their third win in four home matches and jumping out of the relegation zone ahead of a crucial Christmas period.

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Premiership : Burnley 1-3 Chelsea

Diego Costa scored on his Premier League debut as Chelsea beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor

The Clarets memorably beat Manchester Unitedin their first home game of the 2009-10 season, and Burnley fans would have been hoping for a similar result when Scott Arfield scored the opener after 14 minutes.

But Costa, a £32m summer signing from Atletico Madrid, took just 17 minutes to register his first goal for Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho’s side came from behind to beat the Premier League new boys.

The Spain striker’s debut was overshadowed by another summer signing from La Liga, as former Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas dominated in midfield and had a hand in all three Chelsea goals, with Andre Schuerrle and Branislav Ivanovic also on target in 20 whirlwind first-half minutes.

Chelsea manager Mourinho opted for Thibaut Courtois over Petr Cech in goal, and the Belgian repaid the faith with an assured debut and a brilliant save at the start of the second half to deny Arfield a second goal.

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