Guardiola delighted by City grit at Burnley

By Jamie Smith 29 April 2019 13
Guardiola delighted by City grit at Burnley

Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City restricting Burnley's set pieces was key to their Premier League win at Turf Moor. 

Sergio Aguero's second-half strike, his 20th Premier League goal of the season, earned City their 12th straight league win. 

City therefore moved back above Liverpool into top spot and will retain the title if they take maximum points from their two remaining games. 

Burnley successfully restricted City's threat but failed to create a chance of note themselves, with Guardiola hailing his side's resilience at the back. 

"We didn't concede one shot on target or one corner," said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss. 

"We are a small team [in terms of height] but we are smart. In the first half the pitch was so dry and it was slow but in the second half we knew we had to score our goal. 

"We controlled the long ball and we had chances to score the second goal - in the last minutes anything can happen, always it is difficult if you cannot close the game. 

"In the first half we didn't create too much but, of course, it is what it is. We knew in these kind of games you play with intention and 92 points is incredible - it is in our hands, we must win our next two games." 

City's victory could have been more comfortable had Ashley Barnes been penalised for what seemed a clear handball in the Burnley box when the game was goalless.  

"We knew we just needed to go forward, don't make fouls and concede the fouls and corners as little as possible," Guardiola added. 

"We had a penalty not given, which I think is a penalty. We could have won by more distance.  

"I'm so happy for the victory and now we have a week to prepare and hopefully we arrive at Brighton with the chance to be champions." 

Burnley's Premier League status was secured by results elsewhere on Saturday, but they still produced a determined display against City, who ended the game with four centre-backs on the pitch. 

"It's fantastic for me to see Pep screaming, 'Get the ball in corner!' - that was pleasing for me," Burnley boss Sean Dyche told BBC Sport. 

"You have to find a way to win. We're not blessed with riches, it's very difficult, but you can't get our points tally in the second half of the season without playing well so there's a pride in finding different ways to win. 

"It's a constant plan here. Relatively speaking it's been a fantastic season. I knew it'd be a tough start to the season - not as tough as it ended up being - but they delivered a magnificent second half of the season." 

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Jamie Smith