Adebayor opens floodgates as goals rain on Burnley

Burnley 1 Manchester City 6

George Murray
Sunday 04 April 2010 00:00

Ruthless, clinical, making the most of others' misfortune, this was most unlike the Manchester City we have grown used to. Up to fourth, with Tottenham still having to travel to Eastlands, Roberto Mancini, who linked himself with a move back to Italy with Juventus on the eve of this game, looks like he may deliver Champions League football after all.

Unfortunately for the richest club in the world's hopes of European domination, they may find that competition a little harder than their trip here where they led by five at the interval. Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez had them three up in seven minutes, before Patrick Vieira and Adebayor struck and after Vincent Kompany headed in a sixth, Steven Fletcher pulled one back for the hosts.

With Manchester United losing, and more importantly Tottenham slipping up at Sunderland, surely the time was ripe for "Typical Citeh" to slip up against opposition desperate for points in their relegation battle.

After City's biggest away win in the top flight since 1955, Roberto Mancini insisted that it was not even his team's best performance since he took charge in December. "If we have the same concentration we have a good chance but we must fight every game," he said. "It's important to be fourth now but it will be important to be there at the end of the season."

He also rejected claims that he had linked himself with the Juventus job and added: "I never said those things. My position is that I'm manager of City and I'm very happy to stay here. I want to be here next season."

It was difficult to know whether this really was City putting their well-known ability for the absurd behind them, or just evidence that Burnley have lost the plot. The visitors' superb start had fans leaving in their droves.

City had worried the hosts in the opening three minutes, with Adam Johnson's shot being deflected on to the post by Danny Fox. But the resulting corner flew over two pairs of players heading for the near post and Adebayor took a touch before beating Brian Jensen with a low shot.

A minute later, the lead was doubled when Bellamy showed what damage his acceleration can do when he tore on to a Tevez pass that was intended for Adebayor, to burst into the area and clip a shot past Jensen.

Even then, there was no sitting back by City and their counter-attacks were cutting Burnley to pieces, this time, Adebayor's low shot was palmed straight to Tevez, who rolled the ball in from a couple of yards out.

Another Johnson corner was met by Vieira, who pulled away from Fox to give his team a four-nil advantage with his first goal since joining City from Internazionale in January.

Given tapped over the bar from a Robbie Blake free-kick that looped up off the wall but Bellamy broke clear of the Burnley defence and crossed for Tevez, who curled on to the post. Tevez then clipped Adebayor in behind the defence and the Togo striker sent his team in with a five-goal lead.

The Burnley manager, Brian Laws, was abused as he walked down the tunnel amid a ferocious half-time storm that saw water collecting on the playing surface and had fans pleading for the game to be postponed.

But just before the hour, City were given another free header from a Johnson corner and this time it was Kompany's turn to beat Jensen.

Fletcher gave the hosts something to cheer with a tight finish from Jack Cork's pass but this performance summed up just how desperate Burnley, three points from safety with one win in 22, have become.

Laws said: "Performing like that we've got no chance of surviving in the Premier League. I hadn't seen that coming so let's hope that's a one-off because we've got five games to go and we're still in it."

Attendance: 21,330

Referee: Alan Wiley

Man of the match: Tevez

Match rating: 8/10

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