Goalscorer: George Boyd 61
Burnley: Tom Heaton, Michael Duff, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Kieran Trippier, Scott Arfield, David Jones, George Boyd, Ashley Barnes, Danny Ings (Steven Reid 90), Sam Vokes (Stephen Ward 87)
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure (Frank Lampard 81), Jesus Navas, David Silva (Stevan Jovetic 74), Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko (Wilfried Bony 63)
Referee: Andre Marriner, Attendance: 21,216
Reigning champions Manchester City was desperate for victory when they visited Turf Moor in March 2015 to take on a plucky Burnley outfit that were fighting against relegation. Sean Dyche’s side were sitting in the bottom three and had managed just four Premier League victories all season so not many gave the Clarets much hope of adding to this paltry tally against Manuel Pellegrini’s all-stars.
Pellegrini’s side arrived in Lancashire virtually at full strength but struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities in a first half of few chances. Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton made a smart save to keep out Edin Dzeko’s goal bound effort but that was good as it got for Manchester City in a first 45 minutes that wouldn’t live long in the memory of the 21,216 supporters’ in-attendance for this teatime kick-off.
As the match wore on, Dyche’s team grew in-confidence and believed that the champions were there for the taking. They made the crucial breakthrough on 61 minutes. Kieran Trippier’s free-kick was poorly cleared by Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany. Kompany’s clearance fell into the path of George Boyd and the Scotsman drilled the ball into the net beyond Joe Hart’s despairing dive. It was his fifth goal of the season since his August switch from Hull City and by far, his most important for the Clarets.
It was a bad moment for Kompany who had been dropped for the Citizens’ previous match at home to Leicester City and raised questions over his fitness after another error-strewn display here at Turf Moor. Pellegrini responded to falling behind by bringing on Frank Lampard for his 600th Premier League appearance whilst recent signing Wilfried Bony and Stevan Jovetic were also thrown on. Neither of these made any significant impact on proceedings with Jovetic forcing Heaton into a simple save which was the best the visitors could muster in a tepid display.
There were late calls for a penalty when Pablo Zabaleta went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Ben Mee in stoppage-time but Andre Marriner waved the protests away. The path was clear for Burnley to record only their second victory of the calendar year and their first win against their illustrious opponents since October 1974.
Manchester City remained five points behind Chelsea after this loss and had played two games more than the Blues. The defence of their title was now virtually in tatters. Burnley ended up losing their fight against the drop but this was a fantastic scalp for Dyche and demonstrated their battling qualities throughout the 2014-2015 season which has put them in good stead since their return to the top-flight in 2016.