Manchester City extended their advantage at the summit of the Premier League to five points thanks to a comfortable victory over Burnley.
A first-half penalty by Sergio Aguero, who became the club’s joint all-time leading scorer in the process, coupled with second-half strikes from Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane, did the damage as the Citizens claimed their eighth domestic victory of the season.
Burnley had been well-drilled under Sean Dyche and put up stern resistance, but there was an air of inevitability about the result.
Here are three talking points, as City marched on imperiously…
Sergio Aguero equals City goalscoring landmark
There have long been rumours of a falling out between the Argentinian and manager Pep Guardiola, who in recent times has preferred Gabriel Jesus in the number nine role. But there can be no denying the impact Aguero has had during his time in Manchester and his enduring ability to guarantee goals.
His converted penalty against Burnley was his 177th for City in all competitions, which drew him level with Eric Brook at the top of the goalscoring chart. Of course, it is only a matter of time before the 30-year-old holds that position on his own and writes his name into the club’s record books. Aguero has been a wonderful servant to City and it’s easy to see why he is a fans’ favourite.
Bernardo Silva re-ignites simulation debate
Burnley manager Dyche was fuming at referee Roger East’s decision to award a penalty after Bernardo Silva had gone to ground following a challenge by keeper Nick Pope. With the game goalless, deep into the first half, it was a crucial point of the game that provided City with a gilt-edged opportunity to break the deadlock.
Although he admitted there had been contact, Dyche felt Silva had gone to ground far too easily. He had a valid point. The Portuguese’s fall was elaborate after Pope had tried to pull out of the challenge and the penalty looked soft. Contact should not necessarily mean a foul and Silva can count himself fortunate that East awarded a spot-kick despite his theatrics.
Free-scoring Manchester City now have solid foundations
The statistics make for eye-catching reading. Manchester City have scored 32 goals and conceded only four in nine Premier League matches this season. It should not be forgotten that Guardiola’s troops made an equally impressive start last term, but 12 months on there is no suggestion they will suffer another downturn in results.
Already five points clear, City are justifying their pre-season tag as title favourites. Where they have markedly improved this season though, is at the back. The arrival of goalkeeper Ederson has made a huge difference and John Stones is beginning to fulfil his immense promise, following his big-money transfer from Everton. City will take some stopping, both domestically and in the Champions League.