Man City – Sheffield United: The goals weren’t plenty but Man City’s incredible possession and defense stretched their winning streak to eight with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Man City is unbeaten in 12-consecutive Premier League outings, now four points clear of the PL field after Gabriel Jesus scored the lone goal in Manchester.
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Sheffield United lost for the 17th time this season and remains 10 points back of safety despite improved performances and plenty of misfortune.
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Three things we learned from Man City – Sheffield United
1. City’s genius defense leads way: Man City will need to win some games without a ton of goals while Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are out, and the defending has been on-point this season.
Man City’s league-best defense starts with possession, but Pep Guardiola’s work this season is about more than depriving the opposition of the ball. The possession helps, but Blades managed just four shots and only one was on target over 90 minutes. City has the same amount of goals conceded as wins this season.
2. Blades better than record: There are not too many clubs returning about a point every three matches that you’d say, “Yeah, but it’s not that bad.” Chris Wilder’s men may not stay up, but they certainly don’t play like a side with two wins and two draws in 21 matches. There is hope for a great escape, still, but so much work to do. A visit from West Brom on Tuesday is huge.
3. One more KDB-less match of prep: City’s beaten West Brom 5-0 and Blades 1-0 in two matches without Kevin De Bruyne, but Guardiola will want to see more goals come Wednesday and a Burnley side they often solve to the tune of blowout in C. After that comes Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, Gladbach, West Ha, and Manchester United. Finishing will need to be better.
Man of the Match: Aymeric Laporte
It’s difficult to pick just one player, as City had plenty of contributors but few stars. Laporte’s first start since November did not show any rust.
Man City – Sheffield United recap
It’s no surprise that City struck first, as Ferran Torres did fine work prone inside the 18 to hold off his mark and turn to spot Jesus.
Blades defenders were nowhere to be found and the Brazilian was patient with the ball, taking two touches before lashing past Aaron Ramsdale from point-blank range.
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Billy Sharp nearly conjured an equalizer from nothing in the 86th minute, just missing the far post from 20 yards.