Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus struck twice and Rodri scored a screamer in a confident 4-1 win at Burnley on Tuesday as the champions showed signs they may be able to keep the Premier League title race alive.
The victory brings Pep Guardiola’s side, who had drawn at Newcastle United on Saturday, back within eight points of leaders Liverpool ahead of the Merseyside derby with Everton at Anfield on Wednesday.
Jesus opened the scoring in the 24th minute and doubled City’s advantage five minutes after the break before a spectacular drive from Rodri and a low drilled shot from substitute Riyad Mahrez made it four.
A late consolation from Burnley substitute Robbie Brady will have annoyed Guardiola, whose side have now gone eight games in all competitions without a clean sheet but that aside this was back to business for City.
They knew they could ill-afford a slip after being held at Newcastle, especially as in recent weeks City have looked well below the standards set in their two straight title campaigns.
They had already dropped 13 points in their 14 games, only three short of their total for the whole of last season.
With only one win in their last five games in all competitions, the pressure on City was real but the gap in quality between the elite clubs and the tightly-packed middle ranks of the Premier League was soon evident.
Jesus had the ball in the net in the sixth minute, turning the ball in after Angelino had volleyed a deeply hit corner goalwards, but the Brazilian was rightly ruled offside and City had to work harder for their lead.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche switched from his usual 4-4-2 formation to feature a five-man midfield, with former Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater, on loan from Chelsea, making his first Premier League appearance in 21 months, but neither he nor his team mates could trouble the champions.
PALACE WIN ON AMAZON DEBUT
Jeffrey Schlupp delivered for 10-man Crystal Palace as he marked streaming giant Amazon’s arrival into Premier League broadcasting with a late goal in his side’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on Tuesday.
Palace were a man down from the 19th minute when Mamadou Sakho was sent off for a reckless tackle but the hosts were the better team and substitute Schlupp sent the Selhurst Park faithful home happy with his 76th-minute winner.
While it was a great night for Palace, who moved fifth with 21 points before Wednesday’s fixtures, the first live online stream of a Premier League match might have had some viewers clicking to the Christmas shopping options instead.
The first half was especially forgettable with the only talking point being Sakho’s out-of-control attempted clearance that left Bournemouth’s Adam Smith in a heap near the touchline.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson’s defensive problems worsened soon afterwards when Patrick van Aanholt appeared to overstretch his hamstring, although his replacement Schlupp ended up being the match-winner.
Amazon have paid 90 million pounds ($115 million) to show 20 Premier League games for three seasons — the first time a streaming service has broadcast English top-flight football.
As part of their coverage viewers who subscribe to its Prime service can watch every one of this week’s 15th round of games — the first time at least one game in a round of fixtures has not been screened live by a television channel.