Manchester City thrashed Burnley 6-1 at Turf Moor to keep themselves in the mix for the crucial fourth Champions League spot.

In a devastating opening seven minutes, City scored three times through Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez to effectively end the match as a contest just moments after kick off.

Vincent Kompany and Patrick Vieira added headers from corners, while Adebayor scored a second, before Steven Fletcher notched a late consolation for the hosts.

It was a catastrophic opening for the Clarets, who are now even more deeply stuck in the relegation mire after the heavy defeat.

The warning signs were on show in the opening seconds. Burnley’s midfield – which never got close to City’s playmakers all evening – backed off Adam Johnson and the impressive winger hit the post with a smart effort.

Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen was called into action moments later as he turned a shot around the post, but the opening goal was to come from the resulting corner.

The Clarets failed to mark up or clear their lines for the first of several times during the match and when the ball dropped to Adebayor twelve yards out, the Togolese striker made no mistake in beating Jensen with a powerful low shot.

Virtually from the restart it was two. Kevin McDonald – who was fined post-match after leaving the ground at half-time – gave the ball away cheaply and Bellamy swept the ball across Jensen after an incisive passing manoeuvre.

Jensen then parried an effort into Tevez’ path for the Argentine to tap in a third and to seal the points before ten minutes had elapsed.

It would have been forgiveable for City to take their foot off at that point but they kept pressing and before twenty minutes had passed Vieira had thumped home a header from a corner with Burnley failing to mark their men.

The Clarets finally found some resistance but Adebayor made it five from Tevez’ through ball just before the break, running fully thirty yards totally unchallenged before slotting past Jensen.

It could easily have been even more with Tevez rattling the upright having beaten Jensen with another curling effort from inside the penalty area.

Torrential rain throughout the break left the rest of the match in doubt, and it is unlikely the ninety minutes would have been played had the game been any sort of contest.

The rains made conditions almost impossible to play in but Kompany still managed to make it six with another header, profiting from yet more shoddy marking from a corner into the Burnley box.

City looked for more but couldn’t get to grips with the puddles dotted around the pitch and it was Burnley who would complete the scoring, Fletcher finishing into the top corner after being played in by substitute Jack Cork.

The hammering leaves City confident they can overhaul Spurs and secure a place in next season’s Champions League, while Burnley look certain to join Portsmouth in the Championship.

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