Tuesday 10 December 2019

Jesus double helps City get back to winning ways

Jesus double helps City get back to winning ways

6 days ago

Jesus double helps City get back to winning ways

6 days ago


After the disappointment of Saturday’s draw against Newcastle, which left City 11 points behind Liverpool, this was a strong reaction from Pep Guardiola’s men.

Jesus curled in a lovely opener in the 24th minute and doubled the lead just after half-time, while the third came from Rodri,  who thundered a volley into the roof of the net.

Rodri scored a fine goal towards the end of the match
Rodri scored a fine goal towards the end of the match (Martin Rickett/PA)

Substitute Riyad Mahrez netted his 50th Premier League goal in the 87th minute, with another replacement, Burnley’s Robbie Brady, grabbing a consolation two minutes later to deny City a clean sheet.

Rodri was one of four changes made by Guardiola from the weekend, with Nicolas Otamendi given the nod ahead of John Stones in defence, while Angelino and Bernardo Silva also started.

With key man Ashley Westwood injured, Sean Dyche gave on-loan Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater his Premier League debut for the club three months after he suffered an ankle injury in an incident outside a nightclub.

Dyche tweaked his formation, with Ashley Barnes left on the bench and Jeff Hendrick pushed forward to support Chris Wood, while Aaron Lennon was preferred to Brady out wide.

The last time City visited Turf Moor in late April they needed a win to maintain their slender lead at the top of the table and ground out a scrappy 1-0 victory.

Three points this time felt just as vital, with City having only won one of their previous five matches in all competitions.

Although their preparations were disrupted when the lights in their dressing room went out before kick-off, City were quick out of the blocks.

The visitors had the ball in the net in just the sixth minute when Jesus deflected in Angelino’s shot – but the Brazilian was offside.

Drinkwater was showing some of the invention that Burnley fans hoped he would bring but also rust and too often his touches did not find a team-mate.

One such misplaced flick let in Kevin De Bruyne, who drove towards the Burnley penalty area before sending in a shot that was straight at Nick Pope, much to the Belgian’s frustration.

A moment of real quality saw City take the lead, with David Silva and Rodri combining to play in Jesus, who paused on the right of the area before curling a delicious shot just inside the far post.

Jesus gave Nick Pope no chance
Jesus gave Nick Pope no chance (Martin Rickett/PA)

It was a superb way for the Brazilian to end an eight-game run without scoring.

City almost grabbed a second in the 32nd minute but Pope produced a point-blank save to deny Raheem Sterling from De Bruyne’s precision cross, while the England man was also behind a deflected effort from the influential Belgian.

Burnley’s first real opening came three minutes before the break when Lennon produced a good, deep cross, which was met firmly on the volley by Dwight McNeil – only for Wood to block his own team-mate’s effort.

City broke quickly down the other end and Pope again had to be alert to keep out Bernardo Silva’s shot with his feet.

Half-time did not disrupt the visitors’ momentum and they doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart, Jesus hooking in Bernardo Silva’s clever cross.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates the victory with Phil Foden
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates the victory with Phil Foden (Martin Rickett/PA)

The forward nearly completed his hat-trick three minutes later but this time his shot from a tight angle just missed Pope’s far post.

Dyche reacted with a double substitution in the 58th minute, switching to a 4-4-2 and sending on Barnes and Jay Rodriguez, with Drinkwater taken off along with Wood.

City had taken their foot off the accelerator but they continued to probe and their third in the 68th minute was the best of the lot, Rodri unleashing a volley from 20 yards after David Silva’s effort was blocked.

Mahrez, on for Sterling, produced another precision finish to make it four before Brady took advantage of a fortunate deflection.