BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Premier League leaders Manchester City paid the price for missed chances as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Burnley on Saturday with Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s 82nd minute equaliser earning the hosts a share of the points.
City had dominated possession throughout most of the game, which they strolled through for large spells, but after taking the lead with a beautiful strike from Brazilian Danilo in the 22nd minute, they failed to press home their advantage.
Raheem Sterling produced one of the misses of the season – somehow putting the ball wide just one metre out from the empty goal and Burnley made the most of that let-off.
City extended their lead to 16 points over second-placed rivals Manchester United, who were hosting Huddesfield Town later on Saturday. City now have 69 points from 26 games.
City manager Pep Guardiola, without the injured David Silva, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus, named only six substitutes including club record signing Aymeric Laporte, signed for a club record 57 million pounds ($80.48 million) last week.
In an attacking line-up, Burnley boss Sean Dyche gave winger Aaron Lennon his first start since joining from Everton.
City went ahead when a short corner was worked to Danilo and, enjoying plenty of space, the Brazilian unleashed an unstoppable drive from outside the area.
The Clarets were struggling to create openings but when Jack Cork looped the ball into the area, it fell to defender Ben Mee whose volley forced a good save from Ederson.
Former City youth team player Mee had another half-chance minutes later but his header from a corner flashed just wide.
City showcased their quality in the 39th minute with a flowing move from the back, ending with a powerful drive from Kevin De Bruyne which keeper Nick Pope did well to keep out.
After the break, there was almost a repeat of the opening goal when City again found Danilo from a corner but this time the full back’s shot was tipped over by Pope.
Somehow Burnley were still in the game and they came close to levelling when a fine Lennon strike was pushed against the woodwork by Ederson.
That brought the game to life and City pushed forward with increased urgency and should have doubled their lead when Kyle Walker played the ball across the face of goal and somehow Sterling put it wide from point-blank range.
City were made to pay when Burnley substitute Matt Lowton floated in a cross from the right and Gudmundsson met it on the half-volley to fire home and give the hosts one of the more memorable results of a season that has defied expectations.
($1 = 0.7082 pounds)
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris