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17:47 7th November 2009


Super Scot Kevin McDonald earned heroic Burnley their first point away from home in the Barclays Premier League with a dramatic late equaliser against moneybags Manchester City.

McDonald came off the bench to level with three minutes to go of a pulsating clash in which the Clarets had earlier surrendered a two-goal lead.

Point made!

Graham Alexander, with another coolly taken penalty, and top-scorer Steven Fletcher had given Burnley a dream start against a team assembled at a cost in excess of £200 million.

Three goals inside 15 minutes either side of half-time then looked to have shattered the Clarets' hopes of a memorable result as City hit back to rescue their unbeaten home record.

But City were denied maximum points as the Clarets' legendary never-say-die attitude came to the fore again with McDonald claiming his first top-flight goal to suggest that a first away victory is just around the corner.

Manager Owen Coyle not surprisingly named the same side that beat Hull City a week previously for the Clarets' latest quest to open their away-day account.

Penalty king Graham Alexander does it again

After four successive draws, City manager Mark Hughes went for his most attacking solution possible both in midfield and up front, where Emmanuel Adebayor returned to partner Carlos Tevez in a £60 million spearhead.

Inside the first minute City threatened with Shaun Wright-Phillips lifting an angled shot onto the roof of the net.

But Burnley quickly settled and showed no inferiority complex as they imposed their own game on the home side.

And the first real chances came the Clarets' way as Clarke Carlisle first volleyed wide when unmarked from a Robbie Blake corner and then Blake steered a shot just past the post from Alexander's low free-kick.

Burnley's passing game was more than a match for City's and another slick break led to the opening goal with 19 minutes gone.

Former City youngster Tyrone Mears was always a willing source of attack down the right flank and when the full-back ran onto a pass from Chris Eagles, his cross was handled by Joleon Lescott.

Lescott handles

City goalkeeper Shay Given saved a penalty in his previous appearance but few people take a spot-kick better than Alexander and the wily old fox delivered the goods again when he slotted home his third goal in two games and 13th successive successful penalty for the Clarets.

City were clearly rattled as Burnley fought magnificently for every ball and when Craig Bellamy caught Eagles with a late challenge to earn a booking in the 32nd-minute, the platform had been build for the Clarets to go 2-0 up.

Clarets' captain Steven Caldwell blocks Carlos Tevez

Blake's initial deflected free-kick was superbly saved by Given but when the ball came back to Blake he picked out Eagles, who drove on and crossed perfectly for the outstanding Fletcher to tap in his sixth goal of the season.

Burnley's travelling supporters were euphoric but the Clarets' hopes of taking a two-goal lead into the break were dashed in the 43rd-minute when City struck.

Jensen had made a superb save with his outstretched left leg to divert away a Bellamy effort moments earlier but when Wright-Phillips' angled shot from near the corner of the penalty area nicked off Stephen Jordan, the Clarets' keeper had no chance as the ball swirved just inside the far post.

Inevitably City came flying out the traps at the start of the second half but a free-kick from Tevez failed to trouble Jensen and Ireland lifted a shot way over the bar from 22 yards.

Burnley refused to budge an inch as Jordan and Pablo Zabaleta squared up in the penalty area but the visitors' defences were breached again after 55 minutes as City levelled.

Referee Stuart Attwell, who looked to be struggling to deal with the occasion, penalised Alexander for a push and from Gareth Barry's flighted free-kick Lescott pulled the ball back for Kolo Toure to score from close range.

City now had their tails up and a second goal in three minutes gave the big spenders the lead. This time Wright-Phillips found space to cross and from ten yards out Bellamy placed the ball powerfully past Jensen's left hand.

Coyle sent on McDonald and Joey Gudjonsson to try and turn the tide back Burnley's way, although the chances continued to come City's way as Tevez forced Jensen to save low down before failing to turn in a dangerous cross from Bellamy.

'Super Mac' is mobbed after scoring Burnley's late leveller

David Nugent was also thrown on by Coyle in a bid to snatch an equaliser although it was at the other end that the striker made his first telling contribution, leaping to head off the line and prevent Carlisle deflecting the ball into his own net from a City corner.

But Burnley would not give in and with time ticking away they got the goal and the precious point their magnificent performance deserved.

Nugent was involved again with an excellent cross to Fletcher who had the awareness to nod the ball back across goal for fellow countryman McDonald to side-foot his opening Premier League goal past Given from inside the six-yard box in front of the Clarets' ecstatic fans.

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Jordan, Carlisle, Caldwell, Alexander, Bikey (McDonald 62), Eagles (Nugent 71), Elliott, Blake (Gudjonsson 62), Fletcher. Substitutes: Penny, Duff, Thompson, Guerrero.

Manchester City: Given, Bridge, Zabaleta, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Lescott, Adebayor, Toure, Tevez Petrov 73), Bellamy. Substitutes: Richards, Johnson, Santa Cruz, de Jong, Weiss, Taylor.

Referee: S Attwell

    Data provided by Press Association