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Burnley fell to a 2-0 defeat at home yesterday against restored Premier League leaders Manchester City and it was a result that I’m not sure many Burnley fans weren’t expecting.

An early Kevin de Bruyne goal was followed midway through the first half with a second from Ilkay Gündogan and, as was the case with the same fixture last season, that was it in terms of goals with us hardly ever threatening to get back into the game.

Those two goals took City’s Premier League total against us to 45, with only Chelsea anywhere close (40), and I think, by the end, those still inside were probably relieved it wasn’t any more.

A slightly earlier departure for me yesterday. I did once spend three years of my life living in South Yorkshire, but I’m an honorary member of West Yorkshire Clarets who were on Clarets for Foodbanks duty ahead of the game. It was a successful day too and a thanks to all the other WYC members who volunteered their time and more so to everyone who made a donation.

As the tins and other donations made their way into the bins, the team news was revealed with Sean Dyche making two changes from the team that had lost at Brentford, restoring Jack Cork with Maxwel Cornet dropping out and Kevin Long coming in for the suspended Nathan Collins. For Long, it was his first appearance in the first team since he stood in for Ben Mee in the home game against Fulham thirteen and a half months ago.

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The City line up looked strong; their bench did too with the likes of Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus all having a watching brief at kick off.

I don’t think anyone could have expected to dominate possession, let’s face it we don’t against any team, but we didn’t really offer much of a threat throughout the game and stood off them far too much, allowing them almost to do as they liked.

It might have been different had the first opportunity of the game found the net and it was close. Charlie Taylor came in from the left and played a crossfield ball across for Aaron Lennon. The winger’s cross was won in the air by Josh Brownhill on the 18-yard line but he saw his header go just wide.

What a start that would have been but we didn’t have to wait much longer for the first goal which, unfortunately, came at the other end. City worked the ball across to the right where first Raheem Sterling and then De Bruyne were afforded too much time and space. Once with a shooting opportunity, De Bruyne made no mistake.

We were only in the fifth minute; we were behind and they just basically toyed with us for much of the rest of the first half. They were too quick for us, too good for us. I’m not sure what our plan was but it wasn’t working and we were probably thankful there was only one more goal.

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That goal came when Sterling got down the right and crossed low. Gündogan volleyed home with the ball, as I saw it at the time, going straight through Nick Pope. In fairness to our goalkeeper, he was completely caught out by a deflection off Long.

With no further damage, we went in 2-0 down with Cornet coming on for Dwight McNeil for the second half, but nothing much changed initially with Pope twice making saves to prevent City from extending their lead.

Around the hour, we thought we might have pulled one back. We won a free kick in the high grass just in front of Pep Guardiola. Ashley Westwood took it quickly as Cornet and Wout Weghorst looked to get onto it. I thought Cornet was offside but it was Weghorst who got to the ball. Weghorst headed it forward for Cornet who had to head it towards goal himself. Nathan Aké cleared but had it crossed the line? It mattered not, the flag then went up. As it happens, both Cornet and Weghorst were offside from the free kick and then Cornet was offside from Weghorst’s header forward. And, just for good measure, it wasn’t close to crossing the line. Still it brought a bit of excitement.

Jay Rodriguez, who came on for Cork, had our one effort on target but it was City who came closest to a second half goal. A ball across from the right found Gabriel Jesus whose shot took a deflection off Connor Roberts onto the post and the same player missed target when the ball rebounded back to him.

That was it. We had been better in the second half but let’s be honest, we never threatened to get back into a game against a team we just don’t seem able to compete with at all. Having said that, our season won’t rest on our results against City and even our supporters seem to accept that. Yesterday, there was no criticism from the stands but in truth there was nothing. When was Turf Moor last so subdued?

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It’s not looking good. Not long ago we all thought Brentford might be the ones to catch. They’ve just gone and won their last three games and that’s as many as we’ve won all season. It really looks now as though our only hope is Everton. They will come to Burnley in three days time knowing a point will be a good result. We simply have to win, and then again at Norwich a week today if we are to have any hope of staying up.

The teams were;

Burnley: Nick Pope, Connor Roberts, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Charlie Taylor, Aaron Lennon, Josh Brownhill, Jack Cork (Jay Rodriguez 71), Ashley Westwood, Dwight McNeil (Maxwel Cornet ht), Wout Weghorst (Ashley Barnes 81). Subs not used: Wayne Hennessey, Will Norris, Matt Lowton, Bobby Thomas, Owen Dodgson, Dale Stephens.
Yellow Card: Wout Weghorst.

Manchester City: Ederson, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Aké, João Cancelo, Kevin de Bruyne (Bernardo Silva 78), Rodri, Ilkay Gündogan, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden (Gabriel Jesus 64), Jack Grealish. Subs not used: Zack Steffen, John Stones, Conrad Egan-Riley, Luke Mbete, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez.

Referee: Craig Pawson (Sheffield).

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