City secure their first away win since the opening day of the season with an assured, committed display at Turf Moor
The caretaker partnership of Stowell – Rudkin steered City to a vital win on the road that leaves City just two points off of a play-off spot and suddenly looking composed and confident against an, albeit, average Burnley side.
There were four changes to the side that started at West Ham just four days previously with Mills, Gallagher, Howard and Danns all returning to the starting line-up as Beckford, Vassell, St Ledger and Abe made way. City started brightly and, as expected, made use of Howard’s height to great effect and the Burnley central defenders had a torrid night. City had opted to play a more direct style and this caused Burnley plenty of problems with Nugent twice going close with fierce shots, one of which was turned away superbly by Grant. City eventually broke through in the 20th minute when Paul Konchesky latched on to a poor Edgar clearance and lashed the ball, left-footed past a startled Grant from 25 yards. City had only a minute to enjoy the lead before Burnley drew level following a rare mistake from Kasper Schmeichel who punched the ball weakly from a long throw and the ball landed on the head of Wallace who nodded the ball gratefully back in to the empty net from ten yards. This unexpected gift buoyed the home side who might have taken the lead when Charlie Austin latched on to a Rodriguez through ball and only a vital touch from Bamba was enough to deflect the ball on to the post.
The second half started with the home side taking the game to Leicester and Wellens had to be alert to clear an Amougou header but it was City who broke the deadlock in the 55th minute. A sweeping move by City ended with Howard putting Gallagher away down the right and his first time cross was met by David Nugent at the back post who placed a thumping header past Grant and sent the vocal travelling support in to raptures. Just seven minutes later and City had put the game to bed when Wellens was brought down in the area following a forceful run, although it looked more like obstruction from the away end. No matter. It was our first penalty award of the season and Gallagher stepped up to slam the ball home to give the visitors a two-goal cushion. Burnley had little to offer from then on and City saw the game out comfortably and celebrated at the final whistle in a manner that suggests that they really wanted that win.
City looked more effective throughout and played with determination and passion and looked better for it. One final mention for Steve Howard; he has no shortage of critics and he isn’t the most talented player on City’s books but his attitude is infectious and he led the line superbly with a committed display that was an example to some of his more expensive team mates.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Amougou, Edgar, Mee, Wallace (Hines 78), McCann, Bartley (Duff 90), Stanislas (Treacy 68), Rodriguez, Austin.Unused subs: Stewart, Marney.
City: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills (c), Bamba (St. Ledger 84), Konchesky, Gallagher (Schlupp 88), King, Wellens, Danns (Johnson 81), Nugent, Howard.Unused subs: Beckford, Weale.
Attendance: 13,286 (744 City) Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)