Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice as Manchester City climbed into fourth place in the Premier League with a crushing 6-1 win over struggling Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.
With Tottenham's 3-1 loss to Sunderland earlier in the day, City knew a win would put them in pole position in the race for fourth place and the final Champions League spot. Roberto Mancini's side rose to the challenge with a stylish display and they now have 59 points - one more than fifth-placed Tottenham.
City were 3-0 up after seven minutes and 5-0 ahead by half-time in the teeming Lancashire rain. Adebayor's double and one each from Craig Bellamy, Carlos Tevez and Patrick Vieira put the result beyond doubt by the interval. Vincent Kompany made it 6-0 before Burnley finally showed some attacking nous when Steven Fletcher curled a shot over Shay Given into the far corner in the 72nd minute.
This was a matchup between one of the wealthiest clubs in the world against the club with the smallest budget in the Premier League - City substitute Roque Santa Cruz's 17 million pound price tag last year was more than Burnley's playing budget for the whole of this season.
Adebayor emphasised the difference between the clubs as he started the goal rush in the fourth minute, controlling a corner from Adam Johnson and volleying past Brian Jensen. Bellamy was completely unmarked when he doubled the score in the fifth minute, collecting a cross from Tevez to score.
Tevez then tapped in a rebound from Adebayor to score City's third, taking advantage of hesitant goalkeeping from Jensen. That resulted in Burnley manager Brian Laws losing his cool on the touchline, the crowd jeering their team and several fans heading for the exits. The Clarets have yet to win a Premier League game this season after conceding the first goal and City were far from finished.
Vieira scored his first goal for City since moving from Inter Milan in January and his first in the Premier League in five years, rising to head home a Johnson cross in the 20th minute. Adebayor made it 5-0 in 44th, taking a pass from Tevez to comfortably sprint clear and slot past Jensen.
It was a far cry from November, when Burnley earned their only away point of the season in a 3-3 draw at Manchester City. But since then Burnley have struggled with their last win coming against West Ham in February, a run of nine matches. Their best chance came from David Nugent, who forced Given to save but the ball then went straight to the other end and Vieira had a shot of his own stopped by Jensen.
Tevez then failed to connect with a Bellamy cross after fine work from Johnson and the Argentine also hit a post. Puddles appeared on the pitch in the second half as a result of the relentless rain. It affected the playing conditions but did not stop City from scoring again. Kompany was next on the scoresheet in the 58th minute, heading in unopposed from a Johnson corner.
Burnley managed to pull a goal back in the 72nd minute when Fletcher scored after being played on by Jack Cork. But Burnley seemed to have given up before the game had even started. Still in the bottom three, this performance does not bode well for their survival hopes.