It would be fitting, after a relentless chase between Liverpool and Manchester City, if the title race of the season was won by the leanest of margins. However, it will also feel cruel at the same time. At Merseyside, hearts must have sunk when the referee signalled the close-range effort from Sergio Aguero after it crossed the line. It managed to beat the desperate lunge of Matt Lowton by only 29.51 millimetres.
In two weeks, Jurgen Klopp could be looking back at the priceless moment that occurred in January when both contenders clashed, and John Stones managed to stretch out to his limit much like Lowton, hooking the ball away from the goal line even though nine-tenths of it crossed the line. Before the technology surrounding the goal-line was introduced, when officials had to rely on guesswork and instinct, the two decisions could have been reversed. It’s quite clear that justice has been done. However, never has the thinnest of distances been felt quite in the same manner as the contingency by Manchester City.
Manchester City’s Victory Over Burnley
Manchester City did not expect anything for free while playing at Turf Moor. In the previous season, the team endured a 1-1 draw in the same location against Burnley. However, it proved to be far less consequential when it came to their title hopes compared to any stumble that might have occurred on Sunday. It had all the ingredients to be considered another upset, and it should have been one at the end.
Instead, Manchester City managed to avoid a couple of awkward moments in the beginning, shut out the suggestion made by Klopp that it would be a difficult assignment on Thursday, and brilliantly completed the job. It was mainly an afternoon filled with experienced and calm heads where Guardiola was purring after the occasion.
During the first 20 minutes, it looked like Vincent Kompany could have been in for an enormous battle against Barnes, a player who scored while playing against Chelsea and is renowned for taking down the big guns in soccer. However, Kompany managed to end the struggle at the top, and Sergio Aguero, who didn’t see much of the ball during the first half, also got much stronger. This was the 20th goal in the Premier League for Aguero and managed to achieve this for five consecutive seasons.
Manchester City resembled a thunderstorm during the first 18 minutes of the second half, and once Aguero pounced, it was inevitable that a goal would be scored. On a day where Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling completely misfired, it was no coincidence that Aguero would be the one to settle the nerves for the team. Manchester City continues to win games in the Premier League, even if the win is calculated by millimetres. It’s these close encounters, with difficult VAR decisions that will see Manchester City take the title this year if they can continue winning in their last remaining games.