Saturday 23 March 2019

Mee can't see anyone getting in City's way

Burnley's Ben Mee, right, helped move former club Manchester City one step closer to Premier League success at Old Trafford
Burnley's Ben Mee, right, helped move former club Manchester City one step closer to Premier League success at Old Trafford

Ben Mee believes Manchester City have effectively sewn up the Premier League title after his Burnley side put another dent in Manchester United's hopes.

Sale-born Mee came through the City academy and, although he never managed a league appearance, he lent his former club a helping hand on Boxing Day by captaining the Clarets to a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

It could have been even better for Sean Dyche's side, who held a two-goal lead at the break courtesy of goals from Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour before substitute Jesse Lingard netted a second-half brace.

Mee insisted his place in the old boys' network created no additional motivation against the Red Devils but was clear in his assessment of the title race.

"I don't think anyone is going to catch City anyway," said the centre-half.

"But it (being a former City player) is not really in my mind. Old Trafford is a great place to come and play, it's a fantastic venue. We focus on ourselves and whatever happens, happens.

"We're enjoying it, we're enjoying the ride and enjoying coming to places like this and putting up a good fight. It's another point for us and it keeps us going in a good direction."

As well as landing a glancing blow to Jose Mourinho's fast fading title aspirations, Burnley also kept up their superb record away to the division's heaviest hitters.

Aside from being swept aside 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium, Dyche and company have been tricky travellers, winning at Chelsea on the opening day of the season and drawing at Liverpool and Tottenham.

As such, expectations are slowly cranking up to the point that a share of the spoils at the Theatre of Dreams is no longer considered an unvarnished success.

"It's a tough one when you get so close to three points," said Mee.

"We're very organised as a unit and a team and when we're 2-0 up we feel like we can hold out and keep them out.

"We would have liked to have had the ball more but it's tough when you come away from home at a ground like this and you know you're going to be in for a game.

"Being 2-0 up we'd have liked to have held out but it's a very good point. It's a good record we have."

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