Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling kept Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and gave them their 13th consecutive win; they now lead Manchester United by three points with a superior goal difference and a game in hand.
Burnley, meanwhile, were game, defending the box well for the most part, but were also utterly outmatched and stay 15th.
Before the game, Sean Dyche will have wanted his players to stay in it for as long as possible and give nothing away for free, a plan which lasted three minutes; Sterling barged through Matt Lowton and fed Bernardo Silva, whose shot was nasty but not definitive, only Nick Pope flapped it onto Jesus’ head and he couldn’t miss.
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And just when it looked like Burnley would go into the interval with a chance of taking something from the match, City scored again, Sterling tapping home Ilkay Gundogan’s superb cross.
The second half featured little more than the elapsing of time; City might’ve scored more but didn’t force the issue, so unlikely was the prospect of Burnley mustering an attack, never mind a chance. But the ease with which they disposed of generally doughty opponents, again, will not have been lost on the chasing pack.


What's going on with Burnley's takeover? As a lapsed City lawyer, I can wholeheartedly say that I did not fall in love with football in order to talk about debt finance, but the world being as it is, here we are. When we should be marvelling at Manchester City’s 13th straight win, instead we’ve got to talk about Burnley’s takeover because sometimes what happens off the pitch is important than what happens on it.

Over this last bit, Burnley have been taken over by ALK Capital – whoever they are – the buyer using the club’s own money to get the deal done. The way this works is that money is borrowed against the club’s assets and the debt is then loaded onto the club’s books, which means the club responsible for paying the money back and if something goes wrong – a global recession brought about by a pandemic, for example – the club is imperilled.

It's unbelievable that, 16 years and more than £1bn since the Glazer family did this to Manchester United, this behaviour is still allowed. The fault lies with the FA and Premier League, who should be protecting their clubs, but also with the government and Department of Culture, Media and Sport in particular, who should recognise clubs as community assets that represent the family heritage of their supporters, and act to prevent their use as ATMs for private companies and individuals. It stinks, and it’s enough.

Burnley-Manchester City Premier League 2020-21

Image credit: Getty Images


Ilkay Gundogan (Man City) No one particularly stood out - City were uniformly good but only as good as they needed to be - but Gundogan is in tremendous form and made his team's second goal with a terrific cross.


Burnley: Pope 4, Lowton 5, Mee 6, Tarkowski 6, Pieters 5, Gudmundsson 5, Westwood 5, Cork 4, McNeill 5, Rodriguez 4, Vydra 5. Subs: Stephens 6, Mumbongo 6, Benson 6.
Man City: Ederson 6, Cancelo 7, Stones 7, Dias 7, Laporte 6, Silva 6, Rodri 7, Gundogan 7, Mahrez 7, Jesus 7, Sterling 7. Subs: Zinchenko 6.


City have won their last 13 games in all competitions, the longest winning run by a Premier League side since Arsenal did likewise between March and August 2002.


3’ - GOAL! Burnley 0-1 Man City (Jesus) And that's why! Sterling, down the left, barges through a challege and feeds Bernardo, who drags back beautifully to open up his body and drill a shot that Pope can only flat out to Jesus; that is very silly behaviour, and a header,followed by a dive that's fooolng no one, puts his team behind. They've got problems.

19’ - Pope is having a shocker here! Stones hammers long and Sterling takes advantage of Tarkowski's misjudgment, so Pope rushes out with no chance of reaching the ball first. Sterling then checks inside him, but Pope manages a poke with his trailing leg and escapes.

38’ - GOAL! Burnley 0-2 Man City (Sterling) Thank you and goodnight. Cancelo and Mahrez knock it about outside the box before the latter feeds into space for Gundogan, whose cross is a beauty, hard and fast, and even Sterling can't miss from under the bar. This is over.

40’ - Westwood sticks a very nice first-time ball in behind for Vydra, who slides a finish wide before the flag goes up to save him then, from the goalkick, Mahrez controls gorgeously on the outside of his left boot, teeing up Cancelo whose shot is straight at Pope.

50’ - Uh-oh, here come City again, Sterling latches onto a terrrific ball stroked in behind by Gundogan biandscurries away. He's got a man to his right and might present him with a tap-in, but instead drives a nondescript shot into Pope's studs. He's got to be the worst finisher of those who score as frequently as he does.

70’ - But here comes a Mahrez passl over the top and into the box, which Gundogan chests down gorgeously into Jesus' path. Tarkowski shoves him away but just about gets away with it, but then pursues the ball and kicks the man, who hurls himself to the ground in the dramatic style. That's a penalty, but for some reason neither ref nor VAR appraise it as such. Odd.
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