Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table after a short break with a 2-0 win at Burnley.
Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Watford in the early kick off of the day had kept the Merseysiders two points clear of City for several hours, but our result at Turf Moor has us one point ahead of next week’s clash between the two. side at the Etihad.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
City took the lead after five minutes when Kevin De Bruyne volleyed in from inside the box after Raheem Sterling’s soft pass.
It was a brilliant finish and a beautifully constructed move – a signal of City’s intent on what feels like a significant day in the race for the Premier League title.
Our second goal was equally impressive and Sterling was again the architect. The England forward played a one-two with De Bruyne, sprinting past Charlie Taylor and providing the perfect cross to find Ilkay Gundogan, who finished the first game full of confidence.
Gundogan is now the most prolific German player in Premier League history, with 34 goals in the competition.
City played with swagger, enjoying possession for long periods of time. It was a good pass, one and two touches. Burnley are struggling to cope.
The second half saw a similar pattern of play, with City in control of the cruise and, at times, almost toying with their opponents.
Substitute Gabriel Jesus hit the post and then rebounded wide as City searched for a third, before the Brazilian missed moments later with a powerful low shot.
City’s dominance could perhaps be summed up by Ederson’s confident pick-up and sidewinder cross in the closing stages.
It was a superb display from City, who completely controlled the game at Turf Moor.
The home team set up with a 4-5-1 formation in an attempt to frustrate us. But such was the pace and quality of our passing, we really outscored Burnley in one of the most one-sided displays we have produced all season, especially in the first 45 minutes.
And it wasn’t just our ability to keep the ball that was impressive – the quality of our goals was outstanding as well.
When City are ruthless like this in the final third, there’s not much the opposition can do to stop us.
CITY HANDLES PRESSURE
Liverpool’s win in the early kick off saw them leapfrog us, meaning a failure to win this game means City end the day from top spot for the first time since December 3.
Make no mistake, it was a stressful situation, but City handled it expertly.
Our players looked cool and calm throughout the game, and the result was never in doubt.
MAN OF THE MATCH: RAHEEM STERLING
Two assists and a constant threat, Raheem Sterling has been outstanding in this regard.
Playing dominant on the right, he is a constant attacking threat.
Charlie Taylor would love to see his back.
Aymeric Laporte has set a new Premier League record!
This is a City defender’s 100th Premier League appearance and our win takes his total points tally to 254 – more than any other player in their first 100 games in the competition.
Good job, Aymeric!
It was also an important day for Kevin De Bruyne, as he made his 200th Premier League appearance.
And Ilkay Gundogan scored his 34th Premier League goal, meaning he is now the highest-scoring German player in the competition’s history.
“We came here to win games and we did. You never know what will happen after the international break. The pitch was difficult because the grass was very high but we adapted.
“The goal after five minutes was important but we still have to play 85 more games. In the second half they pressed more, they played 4-4-2 and they were more aggressive. It was made more complicated by the fact that we couldn’t score the third goal. .
“Being in a position to fight for the title is great – you want to arrive in April and May fight for them. This is why we fought for the last 10, 11 months. It’s been a busy week – first we will think about Atletico Madrid and then after that we will think about Liverpool.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN
The win means City return to the top of the Premier League table after a brief spell in second.
Liverpool’s win at home to Watford in kick-off earlier today – their 10th successive league success – has seen Jurgen Klopp’s side
move ahead of us in what is proving to be a thrilling title race.
It was an unusual feeling for City to come from behind after leading the Premier League table since early December, but the job is done.