Jesus shines as City regain top spot, Eriksen fires Spurs
Manchester City swept back to the top of the Premier League as Gabriel Jesus struck twice in the champions’ 3-1 win over Everton, while Christian Eriksen kept Tottenham in the title hunt in a last-gasp 1-0 victory against Burnley on Saturday.
Jesus hadn’t scored a Premier League goal since August, but the Brazil forward ended that drought to put Everton to the sword at the Etihad Stadium.
The 21-year-old’s goals and a strike from Raheem Sterling put City two points ahead of second-placed Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp’s team can regain top spot if they beat bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Coach Pep Guardiola, whose team had surrendered pole position with their loss at Chelsea last weekend, was pleased to see Jesus get back on track with his seventh and eighth goals of the season.
“It is so important for him, strikers need to score goals,” said Guardiola.
“What he has done today, he has done in other games but the difference is he has scored goals.
“He has done it in a fantastic way. It was so valuable, his performance.”
Jesus opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a cool finish from a tight angle after Leroy Sane’s pass opened up the Everton defence.
Pep Guardiola’s side had to wait just five minutes after the break to make it 2-0, when patient build-up found Sane on the left and the German’s cross was met by a bullet header from Jesus.
Everton got back into the game in the 65th minute when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header from a high-hanging Digne cross flicking off Fabian Delph and past the helpless Ederson.
But Raheem Sterling came off the bench to end the contest four minutes later when the City winger met Fernandinho’s cross with a firm header.
City were also cheered by the return of playmaker Kevin De Bruyne as a 75th minute substitute after a six-week lay-off with his second knee injury of the season.
– Late show for Spurs –
At Wembley, Tottenham left it until stoppage-time before finally breaking Burnley’s stubborn resistance as the north London club moved within five points of the leaders.
Mauricio Pochettino’s third-placed side featured a first league start for 18-year-old midfielder Oliver Skipp, with Eriksen and Son Heung-Min on the bench.
Joe Hart kept fourth-from-bottom Burnley level when the former England keeper plunged low to his right to save Erik Lamela’s low shot.
But Denmark playmaker Eriksen came on in the second half and he provided the match-winning moment with a clipped finish after Fernando Llorente and Harry Kane battered down the Burnley barricades in the 90th minute.
Eriksen’s winner capped a fine few days for Tottenham, who qualified for the Champions League last 16 in midweek after drawing 1-1 at Barcelona.
“It is a very good week for us, a fantastic win for us today, it is so important to be focused and try to keep our energy,” Pochettino said.
“After the Barcelona game it is difficult to find the way to perform like this.”
Watford caught the eye in a stylish 3-2 win over Cardiff at Vicarage Road that left Neil Warnock’s side just four points above the relegation zone.
Javi Gracia’s team took the lead in the 16th minute thanks to a superb solo strike from former Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu.
Jose Holebas was next to impress, netting with a blistering 20-yard drive in the 52nd minute before teenager Domingos Quina bagged his first Premier League goal with a fine effort in the 68th minute.
Cardiff got one back through Junior Hoilett in the 80th minute before Bobby Reid’s 82nd minute strike set up a tense finish.
Luka Milivojevic lifted Crystal Palace five points away from the bottom three as the Serbia midfielder’s superb strike clinched a 1-0 victory against Leicester.
Newcastle won for the first time in four matches to ease their relegation worries as Salomon Rondon’s 55th minute goal earned a 1-0 victory at third bottom Huddersfield.
Wolves are up to seventh place as Raul Jimenez’s 12th minute goal and Ivan Cavaleiro’s 90th minute effort wrapped up a 2-0 win at Molineux that condemned Bournemouth to a sixth defeat in their last seven games.