Sergio Aguero was on target as Manchester City restored their one-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a nervous and scrappy 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s side now need to win their final games at home to Leicester City and away to Brighton and Hove Albion to retain the title and deny second-placed Liverpool.
City got the breakthrough in the 63rd minute with an uncharacteristically scrappy goal - Aguero’s shot was chested out and cleared by Matt Lowton on the goalline but technology ruled the effort had crossed.
City struggled to get into their usual rhythm in the first half but came out strongly after the break and Burnley keper Tom Heaton did well to keep out a fierce blast from Sergio Aguero at the near post.
Burnley, however, pushed hard at the end with Guardiola bringing on two defenders as City held firm to claim the three points.
DE GEA COSTS UNITED AGAIN
In the race for top four, another costly error from David de Gea dealt Manchester United’s chances of Champions League football a potentially fatal blow as Chelsea consolidated fourth position with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
De Gea spilled Antonio Rudiger’s long-range effort to allow Marcos Alonso to equalise just before half-time and cancel out Juan Mata’s early opener.
A point halts a run of seven defeats in nine games for United, but does little for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men’s chances of overhauling Chelsea, who remain three points ahead of the Red Devils and with a superior goal difference.
Arsenal’s defeat by Leicester earlier on Sunday means Maurizio Sarri’s men move two points ahead of the Gunners with two games of the campaign to go.
Romelu Lukaku turned provider as United scored from open play for the first time in two minutes short of nine hours. The Belgian’s lofted pass picked out the run of Luke Shaw from left-back and his cut-back found Mata to roll into an unguarded net against his former side.
Chelsea seemed destined to complete a clean sweep of five defeats away to top six opposition this season. However, they were given a lifeline two minutes before half-time as De Gea’s miserable run continued.
The Spaniard was at fault in heavy defeats recently at Barcelona and Everton, as well as for City’s two goals in midweek. And his loss of confidence was evident as he spilled Rudiger’s speculative effort and Alonso reacted quicker than the United defence to turn home the rebound off the inside of the post.
That blow appeared to drain United’s belief after the break for what Solskjaer had termed a “must-win” for his side.
Earlier, ten-man Arsenal suffered a 3-0 defeat at Leicester City in another blow to their hopes of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.
Goals from Youri Tielemans and a Jamie Vardy double ensured Arsenal suffered a fourth loss in their last five league games. They remain in fifth on 66 points.
Unai Emery’s side had defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off for a second booking in the 36th minute for a late challenge on James Maddison. He had been cautioned earlier for a foul on Ben Chilwell.
“The second yellow card gave us a lot of problems,” Emery said. “I don’t agree with the first yellow card. It’s the seventh minute of the game, but I respect the referee.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said referee Michael Oliver had no choice but to send off the 21-year-old.