Burnley 0, Manchester City 2
Manchester City returned to the Premier League summit with a comfortable win at Burnley ahead of their top table clash with Liverpool next weekend.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool had won at home to Watford in the early kick off but two first half goals at Turf Moor by Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan were enough for Pep Guardiola’s side to make a swift return to the top of the Premier League.
Raheem Sterling provided both of the first half goals, laying off the ball for De Bruyne to rifle it into the roof of the net after just five minutes – his 12th goal of the season.
And De Bruyne and Sterling combined to create City’s second for Ilkay Gundogan to volley past Nick Pope after 25 minutes.
Gundogan, who became the top scoring German in Premier League history – with 34 Premier League goals – with his 8th goal in all competitions this season, was very happy.
He said: “Victory today was important after the international break, every game will be like a final now.
“The first goal helped us a lot, Burnley are a very physical side.”
And City boss Pep Guardiola was also pleased with City overcoming the Burnley challenge after the international break.
He said: “We came here to win the game and we did it.
“The grass was so high but we adapted, we had two or three chances to kill the game in the second half but we couldn’t do it.
“The early goal was important but the game was not over, they were more aggressive and it was more complicated.
“We couldn’t score the third goal so the game was open.”
With a tough home Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid on the horizon, City eased through the rest of the game in total control without totally overexerting themselves although they may yet regret not using their lead to score more goals and close the goal difference gap between them and Liverpool.
Nathan Ake cleared a Maxwel Cornet shot off the line but the Burnley forward was flagged offside.
Gabriel Jesus came on as a substitute and hit the post but couldn’t put the rebound away as City underlined their control in the game without putting Burnley to the sword.
Burnley’s first shot on target was in the 75th minute when Jay Rodriguez’ shot brought a save from Ederson but in truth Sean Dyche might have been looking at the visit of Everton on Wednesday as the more important game.
MATCH STATS – Burnley 0, Manchester City 2
Burnley: Pope, Roberts, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor, Lennon, Westwood, Cork (Rodriguez 71), Brownhill, McNeil (Cornet 46), Weghorst (Barnes 81)
Burnley subs not used: Hennessey, Lowton, Stephens, Norris, Thomas, Dodgson
Booking: Weghorst 9 (foul on Rodri)
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Ake, Cancelo, De Bruyne (Bernardo Silva 78), Rodri, Gundogan, Sterling, Grealish, Foden (Jesus 64)
Man City subs not used: Steffen, Stones, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Egan-Riley, Mbete
Goals: De Bruyne 5; Gundogan 25
Referee: Craig Pawson