Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus proved his superiority over Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope as he fired his team to victory on Tuesday night.
The Brazilian’s two goals were expertly taken and set the platform for a straightforward 4-1 win over the home side at Turf Moor.
It’s been 18 months since Danny Drinkwater last played a Premier League game but he was in for this game and tasked with providing the midfield ammunition to carry out a giant killing and he immediately made an impact, snapping into tackles and looking to float balls towards burly New Zealand international Chris Wood.
But City were quickly on top, and left-back Angelino fired in a shot from outside the box, which fell to Gabriel Jesus, who delivered a backheel flick into the back of the net that was so naughty it’ll be getting a lump of coal for Christmas. But celebrations were muted. The flag was up and the game was back to 0-0.
Pep Guardiola has flair but Sean Dyche has strength and Wood made life difficult for Nicholas Otamendi, who always seems about 15 seconds away from a mistakes that sparks a Twitter meltdown.
Dwight McNeil and Aaron Lennon buzzed away dutifully down the left and right win and caused problems for City as McNeil drew a foul and a yellow card from Bernardo Silva and Lennon ghosted past Angelino.
Too good to struggle
But City have won the league for the past two years in a row for a reason and Jesus made up for his earlier offside flick by score a beautiful, technically perfect goal as he received the ball on the left hand side of the box and curled it magnificently past Nick Pope into the far right corner.
City had their teeth into now and nearly scored a second through their trademark technique: a low cross into the six yard area. But Pope had other ideas and spread his body fantastically to deny Raheem Sterling.
The newly capped England international was at it again just before half time when Kevin De Bruyne found Bernardo Silva, who rasping drive well saved by the stoppers legs. That seemed to spark City into life but they couldn’t make their added dominance pay and the whistle sounded for half time at 1-0.
Jesus made it two just after half time as he got on the end of a brilliant Bernardo cross as he volleyed it into the roof of the net from inside the box.
It wasn’t all one way traffic, however, and Dyche brought on Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Barnes to challenge for the second balls more effectively. And it worked as McNeil continued to probe down the left and fired in an incredibly inviting cross that Angelino struggled to clear.
Winning at a canter
Despite their breath flashes of attacking play, City looked like they were in cruise control and Rodri confirmed it. A David Silva shot hit the Burnley man and fell kindly for the Spaniard, who gave it everything and nail his shot past Pope with absolute venom.
As they tend to do in these one-sided games, the action was petering down towards the final whistle but City’s substitutes were still keen to make their mark and Riyad Mahrez did so firing into the bottom corner from outside the goal after he was allowed time and space outside the area.
All of a sudden there were two in two minutes and Pep Guardiola stopped smiling. Robbie Brady accepted a gift of a loose ball inside the away sides box and powerfully struck home past the onrushing Ederson.
But losing their clean sheet was nothing more than an irritation as City claimed another win to move eight points behind league leaders Liverpool.