Burnley vs Man City result: Gabriel Jesus proves there is still life in flagging title defence
Pep Guardiola described playing at Turf Moor as “a trip to the dentist” to his Manchester City players last April but this midwinter visit was merely a routine check-up. Two goals for Gabriel Jesus, an emphatic third by Rodri and a late Riyad Mahrez strike secured three points against Burnley, who found late consolation through Robbie Brady.
Victory puts City within eight points of Liverpool, who can regain an 11-point advantage over the champions by winning the Merseyside derby on Wednesday. City’s draw away to Newcastle United at the weekend still feels like a significant setback, but this performance proved that there is life in their title defence yet.
After all, a disappointing result at St James’ Park spurred Guardiola’s side on to winning 14 consecutive games and retaining their crown last season. Was this the start of another remarkable comeback? It is too early to say, but City played with the elegant supremacy which characterised the back-to-back title wins of the last two seasons and which has been missing too often this season.
City arrived at Turf Moor to find the lights in the away dressing room were not working but nonetheless began brightly and had the ball in the net after only six minutes when Angelino’s strike from distance was turned in by Jesus. Sergio Aguero’s understudy briefly believed he had scored his first goal since mid-October until he looked across to see the assistant’s flag raised.
Not to worry, he would simply score a better one. After yet more sustained City pressure, Jesus collected David Silva’s pass on the left wing, stood Phil Bardsley up, took an ever-so-slight step inside and curled for the far corner. From the vantage point of Turf Moor’s press box, the ball appeared to be turning wide until the point where it passed Nick Pope’s fingers and then swung back inside the far post. It was a fine goal.
The only negative for City at the end of the first half was that they were not further ahead. The fluidity, movement and coherence that has been missing from their play of late had returned and if not for several awkward Pope saves, either Raheem Sterling or Bernardo Silva could have extended their lead.
But five minutes into the second half, Jesus struck again. A long, flowing string of City passes ended when Kyle Walker’s speculative effort was blocked but City regained possession, Bernardo centred from the right flank and Jesus toe-poked a volley into the roof of Pope’s net. Minutes later, he came close to completing a hat-trick, curling for the far post again but missing by an inch.
These were Jesus’ 11th consecutive goals away from home and goals at the Etihad are required if he is to be a more reliable deputy to Aguero. It is easily forgotten, though, that he is still only 22-years-old and his scoring record is one of a confidence player, who requires regular minutes, patience and a run of form. Guardiola will hope this is a turning point for his young striker.
The night may also be a watershed moment for record signing Rodri, much-maligned for his performances since arriving this summer, but every inch the robust holding midfielder that Guardiola wants him to be here. The £62.8m signing from Atletico Madrid screened City’s back four brilliantly and capped off his best performance for his new side so far by scoring their third, an emphatic strike from 22 yards out after Silva’s attempt was blocked.
The scoring was completed by two substitutes: Mahrez striking from outside the box and out of Pope’s reach, while Brady capitalised on a loose ball inside City’s penalty area to beat Ederson. It was only Burnley’s second shot on target of the night. City meanwhile go an eighth game in all competitions without a clean sheet. That will be of little concern to Guardiola though. He will simply be happy to have his City back.
This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/burnley-man-city-result-report-score-gabriel-jesus-goals-standings-a9231746.html