Manchester City went back above Liverpool at the Premier League summit after a hard-fought but well-deserved 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.
After earning a battling draw against Chelsea, Burnley were looking to maintain their strong form against title chasing City with the same lineup that left London with a point. The home side deserved credit for the way they kept the Citizens at bay in the opening period, as the visitors tried to zip the ball across the pitch with their usual speed and quality.
The first big chance fell to Burnley, however, with Chris Wood unable to sort his feet out and control Jeff Hendrick's through ball with the goal at his mercy. At the other end, Sergio Aguero was unable to connect with Ilkay Gundogan's fine pass over the top as Sean Dyche's men continued to frustrate City. Their best opportunity fell to David Silva, who picked up Kyle Walker's cut back but his shot was well blocked by Ben Mee.
After a slow first half where City looked nervous, they came out of the traps immediately after the second half whistle went. Aguero drew a fine save from Tom Heaton, before a moment of controversy went in the home side's favour.
Liverpool losing the title to the two tightest goalline tech goals of all time. Incredible.— Chris Deeley (@ThatChris1209) April 28, 2019
It was not to matter, though, as Aguero would later turn in the box with his back to goal, before firing an effort that Matt Lowton did hid best to prevent - yet the ball had crossed the line by less than 30 millimeters.
Mee then produced a miraculous goal-line clearance from substitute Gabriel Jesus' effort as City continued to dominate possession. Guardiola clearly wasn't comfortable, however, sending on John Stones in place of Aguero in a bid to shore up the midfield.
They stood strong, though. And now it will take a monumental effort from either Leicester City or Brighton to prevent City claiming back-to-back Premier League titles after they earned their 12th league win in a row.
Key Talking Point
After Cardiff's loss to Fulham confirmed Burnley's safety in the Premier League, the Clarets could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the pedal when they hosted the champions.
It was nothing of the sort, however, with the Clarets' rigid 4-4-2 setup keeping the visitors at bay with a typically robust defensive showing. While their defence did the dirty work in the first 45 minutes, Heaton had his fair share of work to do in the second. Two fine saves within the first five minutes from Aguero and Silva kept the Clarets alive, with the red half of Merseyside furiously biting their nails.
53' Heaton! The Clarets skipper again denies Bernardo Silva from yards out, before Cork clears. 0-0— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) April 28, 2019
They got the rub of the green when Barnes should have been penalised for a hand ball in the box, but the City onslaught was relentless as their determined defensive unit was eventually beaten. It is now a matter of building for next season for Dyche, who will be desperate for some funds to add to his side for the coming season
Starting XI: Heaton (8*); Lowton (7), Tarkowski (7), Mee (8), Taylor (7); Hendrick (5), Westwood (6), Cork (7), McNeil (7); Wood (6), Barnes (6)
Substitutes: Vydra (7), Gudmundsson (N/A)
Star Man - Tom Heaton
The England goalkeeper didn't have much to do in the first 45 minutes, but was ready when called upon. In the second period that changed, as the Burnley stopper produced two fine saves within the first five minutes and was commanding in his box following wave after wave of City attack.
He was helpless to prevent Aguero firing the visitors in front, but has given Gareth Southgate something to think about ahead of the upcoming UEFA Nations League finals in the summer.
Key Talking Point
Seeing off Manchester United with relative ease meant the Premier League title was firmly in the hands of Pep Guardiola's men heading into the final three games of the season.
20 - Sergio Agüero is only the second player in @premierleague history to score 20+ goals in five consecutive campaigns, after Thierry Henry between 2001-02 and 2005-06. Legends. #BURMCI pic.twitter.com/5o0MSDtcgL— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 28, 2019
They looked laboured in a first half lacking in quality, finding it difficult to breakdown a dogged Burnley display. Guardiola clearly got stuck into his men during the break, with the Citizens flying out of the traps and laying siege upon the Burnley goal.
Barnes seemed to clearly block Silva's effort with his arm, in what appeared to be a blatant penalty, yet the decision went against the visitors. Would that prove pivotal?
⛔️ Left: John Stones' goal-line clearance vs. Liverpool— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) April 28, 2019
⚽️ Right: Sergio Aguero's goal vs. Burnley
The 2018-19 Premier League title could be settled by a matter of centimetres. pic.twitter.com/Mfu37XIC1i
Nope. They got the win their performance merited and now look dead certain to lift their successive Premier League title. Only Leicester and Brighton stand in their way. Over to you, Brendan Rodgers, to stop the Man City Express.
Starting XI: Ederson (7), Walker (8), Laporte (8), Kompany (7), Zinchenko (7); D. Silva (7), Gundogan (7), B. Silva (9*); Sane (7), Aguero (8), Sterling (7)
Substitutes: Jesus (7), Stones (6), Otamendi (N/A)
Star Man - Bernardo Silva
Most teams have a particular player who, when in possession with the ball, can conjure magic. That man is Bernardo Silva.
The Portuguese playmaker was lively throughout the entire match, demonstrating the cutting edge for City that was so needed after a first half that lacked penetration. He covered every blade of grass at Turf Moor in yet another outstanding performance that demonstrated quality, desire and fight. Fully deserving of his place in the PFA Team of the Year.
Bernardo Silva is so good.— Phyo Thuya Maung (@PhyoThuraMaung) April 28, 2019
Quality, Passion and Skill All in one
Bernardo Silva must have 4 lungs....— Rotimi (@Rotimi_OG) April 28, 2019
Bernardo Silva is different gravy— 狼 (@LukaszM_23) April 28, 2019
Burnley face a Friday night trip next as they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton in their penultimate Premier League match.
Meanwhile, City have just two games remaining as they bid to clinch the title, next having their final home match of the season against Leicester City.
Source : 90min