Manchester City looked on course for a routine victory but a late, and arguably deserved, equaliser from Burnley winger Johan Gudmundsson forced the Premier League leaders to settle for a share of the spoils as their clash at Turf Moor ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
City fullback Danilo had expertly curled one into the top corner from outside the box to give the visitors the lead in the 22nd minute, but the Clarets didn’t crumble and their resolute defending frustrated their fancied opponents to no end.
The visitors were dominating possession, unsurprisingly, keeping the ball close to 80 per cent of the tie but Burnley would continue to look dangerous on the break as they remained in contention throughout.
Raheem Sterling was guilty of two glaring misses on either side of the interval and the winger’s profligacy would haunt Pep Guardiola’s men as Gudmundsson scored a fine equaliser eight minutes from time.
As the second-half progressed, Burnley started to get more adventurous and had it not been for City custodian Ederson’s heroics, could have equalised well before their Icelandic winger’s strike.
Ben Mee and new signing Aaron Lennon were denied from close-range from the Brazilian shot-stopper, with the second save in particular, worthy of an award in itself.
However, the best chance of the second-half fell to City’s jet-heeled winger when Kyle Walker sent in a low cross at the far-post and with the goal at his mercy, Sterling contrived to send his tap-in wide of the post.
In the end, both sides will have felt they could have come away with a win and while Burnley remain without a win in 2018, they will take solace from the fact that they have been one of the few sides to have forced the irrepressible Sky Blues to drop points this season.
Sean Dyche’s men, in 7th place, next take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on February 10.
The Citizens are still overwhelming favourites to clinch the league title as they have a 16-point lead at the summit, but their massive deficit could be cut to 13 if Manchester United beat Huddersfield Town later on Saturday.
City next host Leicester City at the Eithad Stadium on February 10 and with 12 games remaining for them, are odds-on to clinch the league with time to spare.