The Clarets were unable to halt Manchester City’s early-season title charge as the Premier League leaders equalled a club record 11th successive win.
In doing so, Pep Guardiola’s star-studded side ended Burnley’s unbeaten six-match run and handed Sean Dyche’s side their first defeat away from Turf Moor this season.
The Clarets therefore went the way of everyone – bar Everton – who have faced City this season both domestically and in the Champions League.
But Burnley’s first defeat since the second weekend of the season came with a note of frustration and something of a sour taste for the way City got the all-important opening goal from the penalty spot.
Sergio Aguero scored it to equal Eric Brook’s club-record tally, but the way Bernardo Silva seemingly convinced referee Roger East to award the penalty following a brush with Clarets’ goalkeeper Nick Pope did not go down well in the visitors' camp.
The Clarets then conceded two quick-fire goals from Nicolas Omendi and Leroy Sane in the final quarter of the match to kill off any hopes of a comeback.
But Dyche’s side gave City as tough a test as they have had at the Etihad Stadium this season before their remarkable away record was finally punctured.
As well as going for a place in their own record books, City also started the game of the back of a 16-match unbeaten run in the Premier League to emphasise the size of the task facing the Clarets.
But, inevitably, Burnley didn’t make it easy for them in an opening that was un-ashamedly about staying in the contest from a Claret point of view.
The visitors defended in numbers and looked to break through Chris Wood, who sniffed out one half-chance from a long ball from Jack Cork.
The Clarets’ striker did his best to get past a combination of Kyle Walker and Otamendi but in doing so tweaked a hamstring and was forced to make way for Ashley Barnes - the only out-and-out striker on the Burnley bench after an abdominal muscle strain ruled out Sam Vokes.
Despite struggling to hold onto the ball, Burnley did a decent job at keeping City at arm’s length but with half an hour gone fell behind in controversial fashion.
Pope – whose only previous save had been a parry from Bernardo Silva at the start of an impressive afternoon from the young keeper – denied Kevin de Bruyne but then as the ball spin loose went to prevent a follow-up at the feet of Bernardo Silva.
The Portugal international went down in theatrical style before the referee point to the penalty spot – infuriating Pope and his defensive colleagues.
Aguero – fit to start for the first time since recovering from a rib injury sustained in a car accident last month – accepted the chance to score his fourth goal in three games against the Clarets and his 177th for City.
And the striker had two further opportunities to break his club’s goalscoring record before half-time, Pope saving well with his feet both times and James Tarkowski making a heroic block with his head as Bernardo Silva drove the rebound goalward from the second of the chances.
As frustrated as they were with the nature of the opening goal, it did mean Burnley had to try and force an equaliser and three minutes before the break they almost did.
Jack Cork robbed de Bruyne near the edge of the City penalty area and fed the ball into Barnes. He in turn teed up Scott Arfield for a shot that was deflected just wide with City keeper Ederson in no-man’s land.
With Barnes leading the way, the Clarets then started the second half on the front foot and started to ask questions of a City side that had been sweeping all before them.
Clear-cut openings were hard to come by, though, as City took the sting out of things by regaining possession for lengthy spells.
And moments after Dyche had sent on Johann Berg Gudmundsson to try and provide some added impetus for the final 20 minutes, the title favourites struck twice in three minutes to chalk up another win.
Pope had been given nothing to do since half-time, but after making a sharp block to keep out David Silva’s close-range effort at the expense of a corner, was powerless to stop Nicolas Otamendi rising highest to head home and make it 2-0 as Steven Defour was unable to clear from his position on the goalline.
With the Clarets then having to chase the game, they were picked off for the first time a couple of minutes later as de Bruyne unfurled a trademark pass to release Leroy Sane to run through and slot home the third goal which made it 20 in their last four home games for City, but harsh on the Clarets as their proud unbeaten away record came to an end.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph, Fernandinho (Toure 78), De Bruyne (Gundogan 80), Sane, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Aguero (Jesus 76). Substitutes: Bravo, Danilo, Sterling, Mangala.
Booked: Sane, Fernandinho.
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Ward, Brady, Cork, Defour (Westwood 84), Arfield, Hendrick (Gudmundsson 70), Wood (Barnes 20). Substitutes: Lindegaard, Taylor, Bardsley, Long.
Booked: Tarkowski, Cork, Barnes
Referee: Roger East