BURNLEY 1, MAN CITY 4
The absence of legend Sergio Aguero was barely noticed as Manchester City went on a goalscoring spree at Burnley.
Gabriel Jesus was more than an able replacement as he netted City’s opening two goals in an emphatic victory at Turf Moor.
Rodri and Riyad Mahrez were also on target as City temporarily reduced the deficit to leaders Liverpool to eight points as there was never any likelihood of a slip-up similar to Saturday’s draw at Newcastle.
It was a commanding performance in which the visitors enjoyed 76-per-cent possession and had 17 goal attempts to the home side’s four.
The only blemish was the failure to keep a clean sheet for the eighth successive game, a disappointment as they had been watertight at the back for almost 89 minutes.Embed from Getty Images
City manager Pep Guardiola was pleased with his side’s performance and especially the way they moved the ball.
“We are built to pass the ball and sometimes we need to move the ball more than we do,” he said.
Guardiola praised Jesus saying they need him more than ever in the absence of Aguero.
Guardiola added it was “crazy” to talk about City being title contenders given the distance between them and Liverpool.
“It is a bit crazy to think about the title as nobody gives us a chance. We are only thinking about the derby and taking this rhythm into the next fixtures,” he said.
“December is a crazy month, but we are going to try.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche conceded City were “by far the better team especially in the second half”.
Guardiola made four changes from the side held to a 2-2 draw at Newcastle United on Saturday, though Ilkay Gundogan’s absence was enforced through suspension.
Mahrez, John Stones and Benjamin Mendy also lost out as there were recalls for Nicolas Otamendi and Angelino in defence along with Rodri and Bernardo Silva in midfield.
Burnley handed a first start in the Premier League to summer signing Danny Drinkwater while former Oldham Athletic player James Tarkowski made his 100th appearance for the Clarets.
City had an early goal ruled out after Jesus had strayed offside as he flicked Angelino’s shot past wrong-footed goalkeeper Nick Pope.
After a largely uneventful opening, City took the lead in the 24th minute though a super strike from Jesus, his sixth of the season as he ended a 10-game spell without a goal.
An incisive attack ended with David Silva threading a pass to Jesus on the left of the box and he curled a delightful shot past Pope into the top far corner of the net.
City would have doubled their lead shortly after the half hour but for Pope’s great block with his legs to deny Raheem Sterling as he latched on to Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.
Pope again came to the rescue just before the break making another important save with his legs to keep out a fierce drive from Bernardo Silva.
It was like waiting for the proverbial bus for Jesus who scored his second of the night within five minutes of the restart.
Bernardo Silva provided the assist with a cross from the right and Jesus stole ahead of Phil Bardsley to volley the ball into the roof of the net from six yards.
And moments later Jesus had the chance to make it a hat-trick but curled an effort wide from the tightest of angles.
Burnley’s first chance of the game came on the hour when Dwight McNeill’s free kick was comfortably caught by Ederson.
City made absolutely certain of victory when Rodri added a third goal in the 68th minute, a stunning strike.
David Silva’s initial shot was blocked and rebounded to the Spanish midfielder who found the net with a venomous half volley into the roof of the net from just outside the box.
It prompted a first change as Guardiola replaced Sterling, who had a quiet night, with Mahrez, soon to be followed by De Bruyne making way for Phil Foden and Fernandinho for Eric Garcia.
The changes didn’t disrupt City as Mahrez make it 4-0 with three minutes left. Set up by Bernardo Silva, the winger ran at the Clarets’ defence before finding the net with a low shot, his 50th Premier League goal.
Burnley scored a last-minute consolation goal after City were punished for sloppy defensive play. They failed to clear their lines and substitute Robbie Brady lashed a shot high past Ederson from 10 yards.