Gabriel Jesus’s goal nine minutes into the game, followed by a clinical performance was enough for Manchester City to see off bottom-placed Sheffield United. The win ensured that Manchester City stayed in pole position for the second weekend running in a rather upset title race. Following their crown over the other Manchester club just a couple of days back, the visitors went in with four changes. The hero at the back last time out, league veteran Phil Jagielka, was among the notable presence. Blades’ manager Chris Wilder went for a largely defensive 5-3-2 formation in hope of countering the hosts’ dynamic attack. Pep Guardiola too did not hesitate to ring in the changes with five players from the 5-0 rout at West Brom making way.
Aymeric Laporte partnered Ruben Dias in the heart of defense as the boss finally seemed to get his first choice center-back pairing to start a game. What followed post-kick-off was largely along expected lines, as Man City asserted their dominance from the word goes. And it did not take long for the lop-sided match up to give way as the hosts found the net within ten minutes.
Manchester City’s lack of a cutting edge was on display in the rest of the half. Sheffield took the one-goal deficit heading into the tunnel. A loopy ball behind Blades’ young defender Ethan Ampadu, followed by a turn, scramble, and low cross from City winger Ferran Torres was met by a cool first touch and finish from Gabriel Jesus. Moreover, Kevin de Bruyne’s absence was clearly felt as Guardiola’s men struggled to make merry of the half-chances that came their way. The second half was pretty much a carbon copy of the first. Sheffield United only got a proper sniff at goal in the 85th minute.
Continuously being fouled by the visiting defense out of desperation, The hosts were denied some obvious penalties. But the former champions kept their cool and played to their strengths by running the opposition ragged in midfield. Manchester is left chasing shadows as City claimed a 12 times successive win in all competitions.