Manchester City kept their cool under pressure on Saturday, cruising past Burnley 2-0 after Liverpool briefly replaced the long-time Premier League leaders at the top of the table.
Liverpool, who trailed City by 14 points in January, took pole position as Diogo Jota’s header and a late Fabinho penalty saw off lowly Watford 2-0 in the early kick-off.
But Kevin De Bruyne eased any City nerves in the early minutes of their match against relegation-threatened Burnley and Ilkay Gundogan put them in cruise control.
City and Liverpool are locked in a thrilling shootout at the top of the English top flight, with just eight matches remaining of the season.
Next week the two heavyweights clash at the Etihad in a mouthwatering fixture that could potentially decide the destination of the title.
The two teams also meet in the FA Cup semifinals later this month and both are involved in the Champions League quarterfinals in the coming week.
Quadruple-chasing Liverpool did not have the easy afternoon coach Jurgen Klopp would have hoped for against Roy Hodgson’s Watford, who are fighting for their lives.
The home side needed Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker to be at his best to keep out Juraj Kucka before Jota nipped in ahead of Ben Foster to head in his 20th goal of the season midway through the first half.
But there was nervousness around Anfield as the visitors refused to wilt and they even had a glorious chance to equalise in the second period.
Liverpool had to wait until a minute from time to get the two-goal cushion they desired when Kucka wrestled Jota to the ground from a corner.
Manchester United are still three points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal having played two games more after another disappointing 1-1 display at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo was missing for the Red Devils through illness and only a combination of VAR and David de Gea prevented United from falling to defeat. – AFP