Manchester City seals narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield United
Manchester City seals narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield United as Pep Guardiola's side stay top with Gabriel Jesus scoring the only goal of the game at Etihad Stadium.
Gabriel Jesus’ ninth-minute goal was enough to earn Manchester City a 12th successive win and consolidate their position as Premier League leaders at the expense of bottom club Sheffield United.
It was not a vintage City performance. Aside from Jesus’ close-range strike from a Ferran Torres cross, an instinctive header from Bernardo Silva, created by a stray Oliver Norwood header, was their only effort on target until Aaron Ramsdale denied Oleksandr Zinchenko and then Aymeric Laporte from the corner that followed.
Ramsdale also kept out an injury-time Jesus shot.
But the Blues’ defensive strength was again on show. Pep Guardiola’s side have now kept five clean sheets in a row in the Premier League and an impressive 11 out of 13.
It was certainly far too strong for a visiting team who never looked like emulating their victory at Manchester United three days ago and remain rooted to the foot of the table, 10 points adrift of fourth-bottom Brighton.
And for Guardiola is was a staggering 500th win of a managerial career of 673 games.
Jesus back to form
It has been a strange season so far for Gabriel Jesus.
Given Sergio Aguero has been missing virtually all season, the Brazilian should have been the focal point of City’s attack.
But Jesus suffered a thigh injury at Wolves in the opening game of the season, then missed a game against Southampton with a tooth problem before returning a positive coronavirus test at Christmas.
The stop-start nature of his season has prevented Jesus from getting the flow of games he needs to make the scoring contribution Guardiola would have hoped for after goals in both his first two league matches of the season and nothing in the nine that followed.
His third was clinical enough, although the visitors’ defence helped him by not getting near enough to prevent him from controlling and driving home Torres’ cross from the edge of the six-yard box. However, as they had already allowed Torres to recover his position after finding himself on the ground in the build-up, it was not their worst error collectively.
After that though, Jesus was relatively quiet and only burst into life in the final minute, when he did the right thing in opening his body up to shoot at Ramsdale, only to steer his effort straight at the Blades keeper.