Premier League champions Manchester City arrested their recent mini-slump in form with a comfortable 4-1 win over Burnley.
A brace from Gabriel Jesus, a second-half rocket from Rodri and substitute Riyad Mahrez’ late strike sealed the points on what might looked like a tough fixture for Pep Guardiola’s men, who had won just one of their last five in all competitions.
Robbie Brady’s late consolation for the Clarets was virtually inconsequential.
The result moves the defending champions back up to second place temporarily but still eight points behind runaway leaders Liverpool who face city rivals Everton in their fixture this matchweek.
City however, still went about their task in ruthless fashion at Turf Moor.
The visitors predictably controlled the game from the off and had the ball in the net as early as 6 minutes. Angelino’s long-range volley from a clever Kevin de Bruyne corner deflected in off Jesus from close range - but unfortunately for the Brazilian he was in an offside position.
The next chance came following a driving run from de Bruyne but his shot from distance was easily held by Nick Pope.
Burnley held firm but the Champions refused to frustrated and took the lead midway through the first half through Jesus.
De Bruyne was again instrumental, starting the attack with a driving run through the middle of the park, releasing the ball just as he was upended by Jack Cork’s desperate tackle. The referee however allowed the advantage and David Silva fed Jesus on the left hand side of the penalty area before the striker cut in on his right foot to curl a sensational effort beyond Pope into the Burnley net.
After their disappointing outing at Newcastle, City looked to kill off the game, with De Bruyne playing the role of chief tormentor. The Belgian fired in dangerous low cross for Raheem Sterling but the England man couldn’t beat Pope from close range.
As the half approached Burnley fashioned a rare chance as Aaron Lennon's cross was met on the volley by Dwight McNeil but his effort couldn’t find it’s way through a crowded penalty area.
City immediately swept forward on the counter, eventually finding the Bernardo Silva closing in on the right but Pope was able to deny him by saving brilliantly with his feet.
Despite being on the back foot, Burnley’s defence stood firm in the face of sustained City pressure both sides of the break, leaving few gaps for their opponents to penetrate.
However, their resistance was eventually broken when Bernardo Silva’s right-footed in-swinger from the left was met on the volley by Jesus who finished emphatically from inside the six-yard box.
Jesus almost had his hat-trick moments later but his effort from a tight angle on the left ended up the wrong side of the far post.
The visitors continued to dominate but couldn’t pick their way through resorting to long-range efforts from Kyle Walker and de Bruyne which failed to trouble Pope.
Burnley had a rare opportunity from a free kick but Ederson was equal to McNeil’s central effort from distance.
City’s third goal eventually came through summer signing Rodri who crashed home a fierce drilled half-volley from the edge of the penalty area into the roof of the net after reacting fastest to David Silva’s blocked shot.
Pope managed to get a hand to the ball but such was the power of the shot, his efforts were in vain.
Mahrez, on as a substitute for Sterling, put the icing on the cake with a fine solo effort, hammering the ball low to Pope’s left from outside the box.
The only blemish on a comfortable night for Guardiola’s side was Brady’s 90th minute finish which means City are now eight games in all competitions without a clean sheet.
A welcome three points sees City leapfrog Leicester and slightly narrow the gap to Liverpool before both sides play their respective matches.
As the champions look to force their way back into the title race, they now look ahead to a huge Manchester derby at the weekend.
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