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England's Premier League title-chasing Man City lose to Burnley

AP , Saturday 14 Mar 2015
Manchester City
Manchester City's Edin Dzeko, centre right, and teammates wait for play to restart after a goal by Burnley's George Boyd during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor Stadium, Burnley, England, Saturday March 14, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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Manchester City was stunned by relegation-threatened Burnley on Saturday, losing 1-0 in a further blow to its Premier League title defense.

After losing two of its last three matches, City is five points behind leader Chelsea, which has two games in hand and plays Southampton on Sunday.

"Of course we are doing something wrong because we are not winning the games that we normally do against these kinds of teams," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "Maybe the chance of the title is now far but we have to continue fighting for our position."

Burnley is now just a point from safety after George Boyd scored in the 61st minute at Turf Moor. It came after Kieran Trippier's free kick was headed out by struggling City captain Vincent Kompany straight to Boyd, who netted with a half-volley.

City wanted a penalty in injury time when Pablo Zabaleta went down under Ben Mee's challenge but referee Andre Marriner gave a free kick the other way.

"It was a normal performance, we played very badly, a little bit flat," Pellegrini said. "We didn't create enough chances to score goals ... but we were very unlucky."

City's first loss at Burnley since 1974 is likely to increase the scrutiny on Pellegrini, whose side have fallen away badly since pulling level with Chelsea on New Year's Day.

City's hopes of rescuing something from the season may now come down to the sizeable task of overturning a 2-1 deficit against Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday.

Burnley can look forward to the run-in with confidence after this memorable game, which produced only its second win in 13 games. Burnley is now a point behind 17th-place Sunderland.

The game took time to come to life but Trippier, a former City trainee, caused his old club some problems with his deliveries from the right. One cross whipped in caught Gael Clichy high on his body, toward the top of his arm, but Marriner gave the City defender the benefit of any doubt.

Edin Dzeko had City's first serious opportunity but lashed a long-range shot well wide. Dzeko was presented with a better chance after Fernandinho won the ball and played him in but goalkeeper Tom Heaton blocked and then gathered Sergio Aguero's follow-up.

Joe Hart was called into action in the other goal to claim Scott Arfield's deflected shot before Aguero smashed another effort into the side-netting.

It was a lackluster first half, but the second half was livelier.

Aguero stretched the Burnley defense with a nice turn and run from halfway but his ball to a wide-open David Silva was delayed fractionally too long and the Spaniard was forced wide of goal.

Aguero stabbed an effort just wide himself when he met Zabaleta's ball with a snap-shot.

Burnley upped its tempo in response and Boyd served warning of his prowess with a superb volleyed effort from 20 yards which flew just wide. Boyd went one better to give the Clarets the lead just after the hour, with a crisp left-foot shot flying low across Hart and into the bottom corner.

Pellegrini immediately tried to shake things up by sending on headline January signing Wilfried Bony for Dzeko. Another striker in Stevan Jovetic entered the field soon after, although it was a surprise that Silva made way.

It proved to no avail and City could not penetrate the Clarets defense as Aguero headed wide and substitute Frank Lampard had a free kick blocked.

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