Yaya Toure believes Manchester City must produce a flawless second half of the season if they are to stand any chance of usurping Chelsea and winning the Premier League title.
City’s spirited win over Burnley, which they earned despite going down to 10 men, means they are now seven points adrift of Antonio Conte’s in-form leaders, who travel to Tottenham on Wednesday to play their game in hand.
Catching them remains a difficult task – but Toure believes Chelsea will, at some stage, falter and allow City a chance to recover.
“I am very happy and very delighted with the result,” Toure said. “It would have been very harsh if we drew or lost the game.
“The most important thing was the three points. We fight and get the result.
“It is that kind of attitude we have to have to go far and win this league.
“Liverpool was four points in front and now it’s only two, which is brilliant.
“Chelsea physically are in good shape because they play one game a week and we will just be patient and we will have an opportunity, 100 percent.
“If we want to lift this trophy, we have to do a perfect second round.”
Burnley made life difficult for City by defending in numbers and looking to stymie their attacking play.
It’s a tactic they have faced numerous times already this season and Toure believes producing better quality in the final third is key to overcoming teams who pose that particular challenge.
“When you see the Premier League, a lot of teams are set up to defend,” he said.
“For me, the last pass and being clinical is the most important thing.
“It can be difficult to play one and two-touch football because sometimes teams play five at the back or five in the middle and finding space is hard.
“Teams close down the middle and make it hard.
“We have to be patient and take our chances.”
Toure is in fine form for City and was instrumental again in the win over Burnley, earning the man of the match award inside the Etihad Stadium.
So how does the 33-year-old feel playing regularly again after a period on the sidelines at the start of the season?
“I feel young, I think! No, I’m joking. This is what I like, to help my team-mates and help them get the three points because when you play with your team-mates, sometimes you suffer. Like today, we suffered with 10 men and in the past Burnley have always made it difficult.
“These three points are very big and with this mentality we can go very far. We are not panicking – the team or the manager – because we know you can have a couple of wins and it changes things.”