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Man City beat Burnley to consolidate Premier League top spot

When Pope gifted Jesus the opener, the social media wisecracks were predictable.

But in this type of form, on this sort of run, it might just take some sort of divine intervention to stop Pep Guardiola collecting his third Premier League title.

If they win at Anfield on Sunday, it is hard to see anyone stopping a Manchester City team that is busy compiling a defensive record that is the hallmark of title favourites.

The goals to secure a 13th consecutive win across all competitions came from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling.

But the really impressive department continues to be immediately in front of Ederson.

They have now conceded only four goals in their last TWENTY football matches.

Jesus and Sterling were on target for Man City

And when you consider that and their record against Burnley, they hardly needed a helping hand here.

But they got one from Pope when he shaped to watch a Bernardo Silva strike but simply pushed it on to a City head.

The Jesus nod-in was his 75th goal in all competitions for City, and, don’t forget, Jesus has not turned 24.

For all the doubters, he could yet develop into a long-term key figure in the way Sergio Aguero did.

After all, there are some players who have been relatively slow burners at City, certainly when surrounded by the headline-catching excellence of team-mates such as Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

Ilkay Gundogan is one such example.

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Suddenly, wise judges are forming an orderly queue to tell us they have known for an age that Gundogan is world class.

The truth is he has been world class for a long time but has not been given the credit he deserves.

Now, with De Bruyne laid up, Gundogan has assumed centre stage and is running the show, orchestrating this particular title surge.

In De Bruyne style, in City style, his passes are hit with such controlled strength, they always have a chance of bypassing opponents.

So it proved when he squared a beauty for Sterling to double City’s lead before half-time and so it proved when he sent the same colleague clear soon after the interval.

On this occasion, Pope was given a chance to make some sort of amends and took it with an outstretched left leg but Sterling should have scored.

It is fair to say the England attacker has had more composed nights inside the penalty area.

Indeed, City’s final-phase choices were not always the best although Martin Atkinson and VAR did not help when, for some reason, overlooking an obvious James Tarkowski trip on Jesus.

But it did not really matter. Burnley were never a threat and had Ederson not been clad in shocking pink from head to toe, you would not known he was there.

Well, not until late in the second half when boredom got the better of him and he put Erik Pieters into touch to earn himself a booking.

But you can understand his boredom.

In front of him, whatever the personnel, a formidable defensive unit has been assembled.

And that, as much as their attacking prowess, is why few would bet against a City title once again.




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