It was the weekly case of “three blind mice” at Turf Moor yesterday as another collection of clown arbiters failed to see the clearest handball ever and turn down a penalty claim that would have had Mole Salad writhing on the floor even though it was not one of a foul context.
Thankfully, at a time when another big decision needed to be made, not only one that would go on the effect the outcome of this match but also the outcome of the title race, goal-line technology came to the rescue and told us the ball was fully 29mm over the line allowing Sergigol Aguero to claim his 20th Premier League goal for the fifth season running. The magnificent Argentinian hitman is still not worthy of being voted Player of the Year, though.
This was always going to be a nervy affair for City. Burnley represent everything that is the antithesis of the Blues. They leave feet and arms in, push you over at every opportunity, sail as close to the wind as the laws of the game allow and somehow get away with it.
So the just desserts were dispensed when the irrepressible Bernardo Silva shuffled around, delivered an inviting cross into the six-yard box and Aguero under pressure and pushing from Burnley defenders poked the ball goalwards and although Mee was on the line, he was actually over it and the red watch did its work.
Although City did initially go in search of a second, they were wary of any counter-attack Burnley might offer, especially with their “land of giants” team and settled for keeping the ball, controlling the game and not giving away too many set pieces.
As it happened Kompany and Laporte were almost faultless in defence and apart from one slip early on when Barnes was let in, Ederson had very little to do.
The constant switching around of Sterling and Bernardo, the prompting of David Silva and an excellent afternoon from Gundogan, probably his best in a City shirt, steered City to a disjointed but acceptable winning line in this match.
It was a powerful performance from City, but with the opposition constantly streaming back, ostensibly in 4-4-2 fashion, but more like 5-5-0 on defence, there were few doors to unlock and few locks to pick. But City found a way to do it. It’s what Champions do.
The goal will never make the goal of anything, but if City do manage to retain the title, it could well be the goal of the season for Blues fans.
Guardiola actually ended the match with four centre-halves on to gum up the area in which Burnley are dangerous and was, in fact, calling for his side to get it in the corner as the final minutes approached.
Leicester at home is next up and it will be another examination for City. They played some good stuff in destroying 10-man Arsenal at the weekend..and their manager was the victim of the famous Gerrard slip!