Gabriel Jesus’ 10th minute goal was enough to give Premier League leaders Manchester City victory over Sheffield United at the Etihad Stadium.
In as comfortable a 1-0 victory as you will ever see, the Blades never looked like repeating the victory in Manchester they enjoyed over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on Wednesday night.
The goal came after Ferran Torres bamboozled Ethan Ampadu and Jayden Bogle on the City right flank before squaring for Jesus all alone on the six-yard box and he slotted home low past Aaron Ramsdale.
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City failed to create clear-cut chances thereafter and had a late scare when John Fleck’s 25-yard strike had Ederson scrambling across his line in fear as the ball flashed just wide of the target.
The win, the 12th in succession, keeps City’s title charge on track while the Blades remain ten points away from safety at the foot of the table.

Talking point - City are duller but stronger

Pep Guardiola’s side can still smash a side when they defend horrifically, as West Brom did in the 5-0 victory in midweek, but the days of them destroying sides week in, week out are gone.
Compared to close to three goals a game over the last three years, they are averaging less than two now.
The difference is teams would always feel they would have chances to score at the other end previously. Not anymore.
The two changes in personnel in the back four with Joao Cancelo and John Stones replaced by Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte did not matter whatsoever. The Blades did not have a sniff at goal until Fleck's late long-range effort.
The acid test will be in Europe, but finally in his fifth season at the Emirates Guardiola may have a side with defensive shape and personnel that is as impressive as his best players in the last third.

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Man of the match - Fernandinho

Although he has given Manchester City superb service in his eight years at the Etihad, unsurprisingly he has been less lauded than his team-mates with whom he has won three Premier League titles.
This game showed his value though. The City defenders looked very solid but they rarely had to deal with strikers one-on-one because of the job the Brazilian did in martialling the team he led and in anticipating the areas United would attack and being in position to snuff them out.
Although City have Rodri who looks capable of playing in this position now, City are lucky to still be able to call on him to give such assured displays and this will surely not be the last time this season he is asked to play a key role.
With his contract up in the summer, this might be the last chance the blue half of Manchester feel the benefit of the 35-year-old's quiet assurance.

Player ratings:

Manchester City: Ederson 6, Walker 6, Dias 7, Laporte 7, Zinchenko 7; Fernandinho 8*; Gundogan 7, Bernardo 7, Torres 7, Foden 7; Jesus 6. Subs: Rodri 6.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale 7; Baldock 6, Basham 6, Egan 7, Ampadu 6, Bogle 6; Lundstram 6, Fleck 7, Norwood 6; Burke 6, Brewster 5. Subs: McGoldrick 6, Sharp 6, McBurnie 6.

Match highlights:

10' GOAL FOR CITY! Torres beats Bogle and Ampadu far too easily and Jesus can't believe his luck when the ball is slid to him six yards out and he composes himself before slotting home.
16' Almost a goal for Bernardo Silva. A stupid header back to his own goal by Norwood, after Ampadu had initially cleared, and Bernardo glanced his own header as the ball looped back goalwards but didn't get enough contact on it and Ramsdale collected gleefully.
72' Fantastic strike from Zinchenko after a lay back from Foden but Ramsdale is equal to it pushing it away to his left.
87' Not far away! Sharp takes a long ball down on his chest and Fleck hit a beautiful left-footed half volley just wide of the goal with Ederson beaten.
90+2' Great save from Ramsdale. Foden runs with the ball forty yards before perfectly teeing up Jesus but the Blades keeper dives to his left and pushes the ball away to safety.

Key stat:

500 – Pep Guardiola has completed half a thousand wins as a manager.
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