City make life difficult for themselves
Manchester City started the game in electric fashion as Tom Heaton was called into action on a handful of occasions in the opening minutes. First he dived at Kelchi Iheanacho's feet after Ben Mee gave the ball away to the striker, before thwarting the rebound that fell to Raheem Sterling. Yaya Toure also forced the Burnley goalkeeper into a smart stop after both Iheanacho and Jesus Navas fired off target.
Yet with the hosts in clear control after 32 minutes, their progess was halted by a moment of madness from Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho. With the ball rolling loose, the City man lunged into Johann Berg Gudmundsson with a nasty two-footed challenge that saw him earn a straight red. All of sudden the visitors were given hope of adding to their lowly one away point so far this season.
Clichy and Aguero make the difference
Although their only effort of note from Ashley Barnes sprawled wide of Claudio Bravo's goal, Burnley had at least weathered the storm with the aid of that dismissal. Yet with Chelsea running away with the Premier League top spot, Pep Guardiola was intent on going for the three points and introduced Sergio Aguero and David Silva at half-time. Aguero almost offered an instant impact before an instinctive Stephen Ward challenge denied him at the last moment, moments before City broke the deadlock through an unlikely source. Left-back Gael Clichy cut in from his side of the pitch, before angling a right-footed effort past a sprawling Heaton.
Just four minutes later Aguero but the hosts in control as he picked up a loose ball after Sterling stumbled on a trademark run, before squeezing a threaded shot between Michael Keane and Matthew Lowton into the back of the net.
Burnley offer hope through Mee
Yet Burnley were not prepared to give up as City took their foot off the gas and Claudio Bravo made another mistake. The extravagant goalkeeper failed to hold a corner under pressure from Andre Gray and dropped the ball into the path of Mee. The defender then smashed the loose ball off the crossbar and across the line as the visitors grabbed a goal back.
All of a sudden the game opened up as Gray and Aguero were both prevented by last-ditch challenges, before Burnley substitute Sam Vokes headed just wide after beating Nicolas Otamendi to a wide delivery from Scott Arfield. That was the warning City required to try and kill some time, but it did not prevent Aguero going on a mazy dribble before firing over as the visitors lost their momentum.
Burnley did have one final flutter late on as Gray fired a volley just over, before Keane forced Bravo into an excellent fingertip save. Yet the visitors were to run out of time as they continued to search for their first win on the road, whilst City rekindled their hunt of the league leaders.