LONDON: Manchester City’s faltering attempts to retain their title suffered a huge blow on Saturday when they lost 1-0 at Burnley, giving Chelsea the chance to open an eight-point lead when they host Southampton on Sunday.
Second-placed City have now won only three of their last nine Premier League matches and remain five points behind Chelsea who now have two games in hand.
George Boyd scored the only goal after 61 minutes with a superbly-controlled half-volley from 20 metres that not only dented City’s title hopes but also helped Burnley’s chances of avoiding relegation.
Chelsea have 63 points from 27 games, City have 58 from 29 while Arsenal, who beat West Ham United 3-0 at the Emirates, are a point behind on 57.
At the other end of the table Burnley are still in the bottom three but have moved on to 25 points, one behind 17th-placed Sunderland who lost 4-0 at home to Aston Villa.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche told Sky Sports: “Our will and desire to be in the Premier League is all on show but we won’t get too carried away.
“We know there’s a long way to go — the players are grounded. We haven’t been broken from defeat — we’ve been dented a few times — but this win reinforces our confidence and belief.”
City manager Manuel Pellegrini said things are not right with his team because they are not winning.
“It was a normal performance and I don’t think we played very badly,” he added. “We created more chances, they had one shot on target and got a beautiful goal.
“We didn’t create enough to score but we were very unlucky. Of course we’re doing something wrong as we are not winning the games we normally do.
“I don’t want to focus on two or three players. We are a team, a squad of 22 players, and I’m sure they’re giving the most they can. It’s important to continue trusting what they are doing.” (Reuters)