City blow chance to close in on Chelsea

The premier league champions were held 2-2 by struggling Burnley on Sunday.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini. Picture: Manchester City Official Facebook page.

LONDON - Manchester City squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to close the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea when they let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to struggling Burnley on Sunday.

Champions City looked poised to close the gap at the top to one point when they scored twice in the first half against Burnley, but Ashley Barnes lashed in a late equaliser.

Manchester City, seeking a 10th successive win, eased into a 2-0 lead against Burnley thanks to goals by David Silva and Fernandinho but the visitors got a lifeline when George Boyd tapped in just after the interval.

Barnes struck with a sweet 12-metre strike to level for Burnley whose entire squad cost a fraction of City's injured £35 million striker Sergio Aguero.

"It was a big opportunity to get two more points," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "Everybody would think the game was over but I always say it is never over until the last minute.

"The pitch was very heavy. Two games in 48 hours but we were winning 2-0. Once it was 2-2 we didn't have the legs to score."

Arsenal struck twice before halftime through Santi Cazorla's penalty and a neat finish from Danny Welbeck but West Ham hit through Cheikhou Kouyate to set up a tense finale.

Newcastle United recovered from conceding an early goal to beat Everton 3-2 at St James' Park, with Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback scoring for Alan Pardew's side.

Mame Diouf scored twice to lead Stoke City to a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, managerless Crystal Palace eked out a 0-0 draw at Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa overcame the sending-off of Fabian Delph to draw 0-0 with Sunderland.

Rock-bottom Leicester City won 1-0 at Hull City, their first victory since September, but they stayed at the foot of the standings, three points behind Burnley, Palace and Hull.