Gabriel Jesus ended a nine-game Premier League goal drought to help Man City to a club-record 12th win a row as they beat Sheffield United 1-0 to extend their lead at the top of the table.
The Brazilian tucked in from close range just nine minutes into the contest after some woeful Sheffield United defending and that proved to be the decisive strike, with the visitors largely keeping their dominant hosts at bay – although it took a superb Aaron Ramsdale stop in the final seconds to deny Jesus a second.
Following Manchester United’s draw at Arsenal later on Saturday, City sit three points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand on their neighbours and are now unbeaten in 19 matches across all competitions.
Sheffield United remain bottom of the table, 10 points from safety, and now face a crucial test against fellow strugglers West Brom at Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening.
How City made it 12 in a row…
Sheffield United’s hopes of repeating their midweek giant-killing over Manchester United against City at the Etihad were dealt a blow almost instantly – but the visitors had only themselves to blame.
Jayden Bogle and Ethan Ampadu inexplicably allowed Ferran Torres to squeeze past them in the box to tee up Jesus, who was left unmarked by Chris Basham six yards out.
There was almost another costly mistake soon after when Oliver Norwood attempted to head the ball back to Ramsdale and Bernardo Silva pounced but the City midfielder’s own header was easily gathered by the goalkeeper.
Despite those early lapses, Sheffield United bounced back to produce an impressive defensive display for the remainder of the half, managing to contain a stylish City side, which had 75 per cent of the ball, to just three efforts in the opening 45 minutes.
- Man City made four changes with Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho, and Ferran Torres in for Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Rodri, and Raheem Sterling.
- Sheff Utd made four changes, with John Egan, Jayden Bogle, Oliver Burke, and Rhian Brewster in for Phil Jagielka, Kean Bryan, David McGoldrick, and Billy Sharp
The hosts were missing the creativity of the injured Kevin De Bruyne and clinical finishing of COVID-positive Sergio Aguero but tested Ramsdale twice in quick succession midway through the second half with an Oleksandr Zinchenko drive and an Aymeric Laporte header.
John Fleck came close to grabbing a late equaliser for United inside the final five minutes when he fired a left-foot shot narrowly wide of the far post from 20 yards out.
But City had the final chance, with Ramsdale pulling off a brilliant stop to deny Jesus a one-on-one, and the Blades’ focus now turns to a must-win game with West Brom in midweek.