IN the end the Clarets couldn’t spring one of the biggest shocks in Premier League history at Manchester City, but then neither were they disgraced against Pep Guardiola’s side.

City have torn apart almost every team they’ve faced in recent weeks and their scintillating form had seen Burnley installed as one of the biggest outsiders in Premier League history.

But the demoralising thrashings City have handed out in recent weeks never threatened to be repeated at the Etihad, and they were reliant on the most dubious of penalty calls to break Burnley’s first half resistance.

So unlikely was a Burnley win in Manchester that bookmakers considered a 6-0 win for City a more realistic prospect than any Clarets success.

Sean Dyche will celebrate five years in charge at Turf Moor in a week’s time, but it appears his side are still being underestimated.

In 229 games at the helm his Burnley side have never conceded six, or five for that matter. They have conceded four on just four occasions, twice in the FA Cup and twice, coincidentally, at West Brom.

To put that turnaround into context you only have to go back 38 games from Dyche’s appointment to find four occasions when Burnley shipped four, including the 4-0 defeat to Cardiff three days before he took over.

The defensive transformation was almost immediate, and it has only improved since. This was never going to be a thumping. The Clarets are too organised, too resilient and too clever for that.

In fact the players spoke of a disappointment that they hadn’t been able to impose their own game on City. That’s how far this side have come. While most of us took up a position behind the sofa, they fancied their chances.

The first half hour brought few chances. Bernardo Silva was the only City player to seriously test Nick Pope with a shot from Leroy Sane’s cutback, while Chris Wood outmuscled Kyle Walker and got the bounce of the ball from Nicolas Otamendi’s shin before Ederson swept up. Wood’s afternoon ended shortly after, and Burnley missed him.

But they continued to repel City’s advances until controversy arrived. Pope saved De Bruyne’s effort after a slick City move before Bernardo Silva went down under his challenge. Contact was minimal at best, the fall exaggerated. Roger East was well positioned and should have been wise to it, but he pointed to the spot.

Once Sergio Aguero had converted it was even more of an uphill task and twice before the break Pope used his feet to keep Aguero out.

But Burnley weren’t without their own moments and after that rarest of sights, a misplaced De Bruyne pass, Scott Arfield’s deflected shot looped over.

The Clarets had a penalty appeal early in the second half turned down when Fabian Delph fired a clearance against his own arm, while James Tarkowski failed to make contact with an inviting Robbie Brady corner.

That led to a sustained spell of City pressure, without any major chances until Burnley’s hopes of a late revival were ended in disappointing fashion.

Given City’s armoury in attack conceding from a corner was always going to be frustrating, but Steven Defour should have cleared Nicolas Otamendi’s header from Leroy Sane’s delivery off the line.

A minute later City showed their speed. A right-sided throw in went through the quick feet of Aguero and De Bruyne and on to Sane, who fired home from the left side of the area.

But still Burnley didn’t cave. Pope stood tall to deny Jesus, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson volleyed over after a weak Ederson punch, with the Clarets hopes of a consolation dashed.