Manchester City eased past Burnley to remain top of the Premier League. First half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling was enough to see off the Clarets and record the blues 13th straight victory.
The blues were last in this form during their title winning season on 2018/19, when they went on a remarkable 21 match winning run that not only carried them to the league title, but also the League and FA Cup Finals, which they both won to claim the first ever domestic treble by any English team.
And the signs are already looking ominous for the chasing pack as the blues recorded a second win at Turf Moor this season, whilst also keeping a 6th consecutive clean sheet in the Premier League, cementing their record of the league’s best defence having only conceded 13 all season. And with 5 of those goals coming in one match, it’s easy to see how the back line is holding up this season.
With such a solid partnership of Stones and Dias once again in defence, manager Pep Guardiola has options for the troublesome left back position, a role that last night was filled by Aymeric Laporte. It says a lot about the Stones/Dias pairing that the only way Laporte can get into the side is by playing in an unfamiliar position, yet against Burnley, the French defender didn’t look out of place.
The blues have won 12 of the last 13 matches in all competitions against Burnley, but looking further back, they have only lost once to the Clarets in 27 matches since April 1975, but a repeat of that 1-0 loss in March 2015 never looked like being repeated, especially after Jesus had given City the lead with just three minutes on the clock.
Raheem Sterling played in Bernardo Silva, and the tricky midfielder produced a smart piece of skill to turn away from the defender and unleash a left foot shot that was parried by Nick Pope in the Burnley goal. Unfortunately for the Burnley keeper, the ball rebounded into the path of Jesus, who reacted quickly to head City into the lead.
The blues camped in the Burnley half and watching Clarets fans must have feared yet another 5-0 drubbing when Sterling doubled City’s lead 7 minutes before half time. Ilkay Gundogan, who has been in superb form this season, received a pass from Riyad Mahrez, and his low ball across goal was met by a grateful Sterling who tapped home for City’s second.
Once again, City looked in the mood for scoring and Gundogan, who has stepped up in the absence of Kevin de Bruyne, intercepted a wayward pass in the Burnley half and fired narrowly over the bar.
Sterling could, and perhaps should have made the game safe in the second half after being put through again by an excellent pass by Gundogan. The German midfielder won the ball in his own half and his pass split the Burnley defence open and Sterling should have done better when one on one with the keeper, but Pope made up for his earlier error by saving the shot with his foot.
Mahrez, who scored a hat-trick in City’s latest 5-0 demolition of Burnley in November, thought he’d scored City’s third when he converted Jesus’ cross, but the winger was deemed offside by the assistant. VAR had a look, and it was satisfied that the big toe of Mahrez was further forward than the bent knee of the Burnley defender and the goal was disallowed.
In the end, it was a comfortable night for City, who limited the home side to just two efforts at goal with neither on target, meaning Ederson almost had a quiet night, apart from being booked when he raced form his line and brough down Erik Pieters.
The blues travel to Anfield on Sunday, knowing a win will take them 10 points clear of their hosts with a game in hand.
Final Score: Burnley 0-2 Manchester City