Sergio Aguero scored a scrappy winner as Manchester City battled to a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.
In a game that was anything but pure, City really had to dig in to overcome a stubborn Burnley side and the Argentine’s goal was given by goal-line technology after Matthew Lowton had initially looked to have kept it out.
The strike sends City back above Liverpool atop the Premier League table, maintaining Pep Guardiola’s control of the title race.
But how did the players rate?
Tom Heaton – 7 – Made a number of good saves and was unfortunate to see his clean sheet wiped out as Lowton couldn’t quite keep Aguero’s winning effort out.
Matthew Lowton – 8 – Made a match-high six tackles and had Sane in his pocket for the entire time the German was on the pitch. Agonisingly close to keeping out Aguero’s effort but goal-line technology was not his friend.
⛔️ Left: John Stones' goal-line clearance vs. Liverpool
⚽️ 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
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) April 28, 2019
James Tarkowski – 7 – Battled really hard alongside Mee to keep City quiet and was largely successful as the onslaught grew.
Ben Mee – 8 – A real leader once again for Burnley at the back, building on his Chelsea performance. Made a superb goal-line clearance to deny Jesus, who would have ended the game had he scored.
Charlie Taylor – 7 – Like Lowton, worked really hard to contain City’s wide men and kept Sterling’s influence to a minimum.
Jeff Hendrick – 7 – Worked really hard to protect Lowton from the onrushing Zinchenko and created Burnley’s only meaningful chance, slipping Wood in after Walker’s slip. Subbed on 77 minutes.
Ashley Westwood – 8 – Made a match-high three interceptions and worked his socks off to keep the City midfield quiet. An excellent, hard-working display from the former Villa man.
Jack Cork – 6 – Worked just as hard as Westwood in the middle as Burnley sought to dampen City’s often-relentless midfield machine.
Dwight McNeil – 6 – Was reduced to a defensive role, helping Taylor contain City’s right-hand side but performed his task well.
Ashley Barnes – 6 – Was offered a tongue-in-cheek chance to sign for Liverpool by Jurgen Klopp should he bag a goal against City but that never looked like happening. Won the highest number of aerial duels of any Burnley player (four) but was always up against it with the Clarets penned in. Was lucky not to concede a penalty with his handball.
Chris Wood – 5 – Fluffed Burnley’s big chance in the first half with a poor piece of control and was otherwise anonymous before being replaced by Vydra. How different this title race could have been had Wood’s first touch been sharper.
Matej Vydra (72 mins, for Wood) – 6 – Replaced Wood and won three aerial duels in just 18 minutes as Dyche sought to use him as a battering ram against the City defence.
Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (77 mins, for Hendrick) – 6 – Replaced Hendrick late on but had little effect.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
Ederson – 7 – Continues to be brilliant with the ball at his feet and was off his line in a flash to smother Wood’s poor control in what was effectively Burnley’s big moment.
Kyle Walker – 6 – A poor first half of bad crosses and lazy passes was punctuated by his slip that nearly give Burnley the lead. Became a much improved attacking threat in the second half and should have had an assist for Jesus.
Vincent Kompany – 6 – Dealt well with Burnley’s aerial bombardment but continues to look off the pace with the ball at his feet.
Aymeric Laporte – 8 – Won a match-high five aerial duels and was yet again imperious at the back for Guardiola. On the ball and off it, Laporte was in total command.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6 – Like Walker, had some very poor moments in the first half but as City ramped up the pressure after the break, Zinchenko improved with sharper passes. His and Walker’s narrow, almost midfield-esque positioning, asked questions of Burnley’s regimented system.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6 – Played a few decent passes behind the Burnley defence but was too often sloppy with the basics during build-up play.
Bernardo Silva – 8 – Was once again a bright spark in an otherwise ordinary City performance, constantly on the move to pick up space and cause problems for the Burnley defence. Played the ball into Aguero that led to the opening goal.
David Silva – 6 – Constantly looked for the ball despite City’s struggles, although he couldn’t have the telling impact we so often expect.
Raheem Sterling – 4 – Had just 52 touches of the ball, with only Sane having fewer of City’s starters. Not his finest day at all but his teammates stood up to the task this time.
Sergio Aguero – 8 – Despite not having his best game, if anyone was going to make something happen for City, it had to be Aguero, who made a match high four dribbles. Decided the match with the only goal of the game. It’s certainly not his prettiest, but it’ll go down as one of his biggest if City do seal the title.
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
Leroy Sane – 4 – Given a big chance to start after his goal in the Manchester derby but frustrated Guardiola with a number of poor passes and rash strikes at goal. Kept under lock and key by Lowton until he was replaced by Jesus just after the hour mark.
Gabriel Jesus (65 mins, for Sane) – 6 – Added far more vibrancy to City’s left when he replaced Sane but really should have scored after some great work to get in front of a practically open goal. Denied by Mee on the line.
John Stones (83 mins, for Aguero) – 7 – Replaced Aguero late on as Guardiola dug in and helped City repel Burnley’s aerial bombardment.
Nicolas Otamendi (90+2 mins, for Sterling) – N/A – Replaced Sterling late on as Guardiola tried to fill the pitch with sky blue defenders.