Manchester City made it 13 wins in a row and 20 unbeaten as they strolled past Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.
Gabriel Jesus gave City an early lead, heading home after Nick Pope had weakly parried Bernardo Silva’s shot (3), and the title favourites got a two-goal cushion before the break as Raheem Sterling converted Ilkay Gundogan’s fierce centre at close range (38).
Burnley had just two shots and Ederson didn’t have to make a save in a comfortable City win, their ninth on the bounce in the Premier League ahead of their Sunday showdown at Liverpool, live on Sky Sports.
The result means City are the first Premier League side since Arsenal between March and August 2002 to win 13 consecutive matches in all competitions. Burnley sit 16th, but eight points clear of the drop zone.
Burnley: Pope (5), Lowton (4), Tarkowski (5), Mee (5), Pieters (5), Cork (5), Westwood (5), Gundmundsson (5), McNeil (4), Rodriguez (5), Vydra (5)
Subs: Stephens (5), Mumbongo (NA), Benson (NA)
Man City: Ederson (6), Cancelo (8), Dias (8), Stones (7), Laporte (7), Gundogan (8), Rodri (7), Bernardo (7), Sterling (8), Mahrez (8), Jesus (8)
Subs: Zinchenko (6)
Man of the match: Ilkay Gundogan
How City breezed three points clear in PL
City barely got out of second gear in the opening 45 minutes but found themselves 2-0 up through one gift and another brilliant move.
They took the lead in the third minute as Pope could only parry Bernardo Silva’s shot, despite being close to his body, allowing Jesus to react and head into the bottom right corner from close range for his third goal in four games.
Burnley, who failed to register a first-half shot, did keep City at bay for 35 minutes as the leaders strolled around in possession, but as soon as they saw a gap, they pounced.
Receiving the ball on the right, Riyad Mahrez timed a ball into Gundogan on the right byline, and the German’s fierce ball across the face of goal was turned home by Sterling at close range. Sterling also has three goals in four appearances, having scored three in his previous 18 before that.
Though they didn’t score in the second half, City upped the ante and peppered Burnley’s goal early on.
Gundogan struck just high and wide of Pope’s goal from range, before Sterling, played through by a Kevin De Bruyne-esque pass from Gundogan, was denied by the foot of Pope when through one-on-one.
City weren’t missing De Bruyne one bit as they continued to control the game; Mahrez forced Pope into a save with a cross-shot, and City should have had a penalty when James Tarkowski kicked the foot of Jesus, but VAR bizarrely didn’t review.
Manchester City made five changes from the side that beat Sheffield United 1-0 on Saturday; Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko came out, with Joao Cancelo floating in midfield as City went for a three-man defence
Rodri came in for Fernandinho in midfield, and both Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez came in for Phil Foden and Ferran Torres, who were both on the bench.
Burnley made two changes from the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea as Chris Wood and Robbie Brady dropped out of the squad through injury, meaning Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra came in to replace them.
This was a free hit for Burnley, but Sean Dyche’s side failed to force Ederson into a single stop, as City once again showed their supremacy as they head into the biggest game of the season at Liverpool on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
What the managers said…
Burnley boss Sean Dyche: “I thought we actually did OK overall [but] it’s a poor goal, the first goal, for many different reasons. That early, you don’t want to start like that against teams like this.
“We did reasonably well with our shape, but then conceded the second one. Second half I think we actually did well. These sides can get away from you very easily but they didn’t. Overall, with the challenges we’ve got, I’m pretty pleased with the players.”
Man City boss Pep Guardiola: “[Room for improvement?] A lot. Today we lost some simple balls, that is the only thing I am concerned about. I am asking them to do effort and the simple things well, we are trying. Today more than usual we lose simple balls, but in general I am satisfied, because we continue to be solid and create enough chances.
“Knowing that coming here, Burnley away, it is always difficult. Today we did it again really well. We can do better, but in general I don’t have regrets. The players are human beings and are fantastic.
“For now, we enjoy this game, tomorrow we start to think about next games. We have won six games in a row, against teams in low position of the table, and people say it’s guaranteed – but we know exactly how tough it was against many of these clubs. We had to do our best, and now comes different teams, different types of play – now come another tough, tough group of games.”
- Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in each of their last six Premier League games, their joint-longest run without conceding in the competition (also September 2015 and October 2018).
- Ilkay Gundogan has scored (7) or assisted (1) eight goals in his last 10 Premier League games for Man City, as many as in his previous 61 appearances combined.
- Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 154 goals in all competitions under Pep Guardiola (99 goals & 55 assists) – eight more than any other player for Manchester City in this time.
- Gabriel Jesus has scored 68 goals in the 107 games he has started for Manchester City in all competitions, netting in each of his last three starts.
Man City now go to Liverpool on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30pm, before a trip to Swansea in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday at 5.30pm.
Burnley host Brighton on Saturday at 3pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League, before hosting Bournemouth in the FA Cup fifth round at 5.30pm on Tuesday.