Burnley 0-2 Man City: Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan goals send Pep Guardiola's men top
Ilkay Gundogan puts Mancester City two ahead in their match against Burnley at Turf Moor: Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Manchester City regained their position at the top of the Premier League with a convincing victory over struggling Burnley.

Kevin de Bruyne scored his 10th league goal of the campaign to give the visitors an early lead before Ilkay Gundogan rubber-stamped the advantage on 25 minutes. 

It was a comfortable victory for City but their professionalism and application has to be commended, especially when you consider how Chelsea slipped up at home to Brentford

Story of the match

Sean Dyche made two changes from the team that lost to Brentford. In came Jack Cork and Kevin Long for Maxwel Cornet and Nathan Collins – who was sent off in the final minutes of the game at the Brentford Community Stadium. 

Pep Guardiola freshened up his starting eleven that brushed aside Southampton in the FA Cup. In came Ederson, Nathan Ake and Phil Foden for Zach Steffen, John Stones and Gabriel Jesus, respectively. 

Burnley were playing their first game at Turf Moor in four weeks and they started with intent.

Three minutes in, Josh Brownhill's ambitious header from the edge of the box flashed narrowly wide of the far corner after a good cross from Aaron Lennon. 

However, Manchester City are Manchester City and – just a couple of minutes later – they took the lead. 

Raheem Sterling touched a lofted cross to the far-post back to De Bruyne and the Belgian slammed a shot across Nick Pope and into the top corner from ten-yards. 

Kevin de Bruyne puts Manchester City ahead after five minutes: Jan Kruger/GettyImages

Within the first ten minutes, Rodri – the defensive-midfielder – had two opportunities to extend the lead. His first effort from 25-yards was well beaten out by Pope but he couldn't hit the target with a close-range volley from a presentable position. 

The Spaniard then felt the full force of Wout Weghorst's elbow in an aerial tussle. The former Wolfsburg man – perhaps fortunately – only received a caution.

Such a lenient decision could prove vital for Burnley in the coming matches but it meant little on the outcome of this one as City soon doubled their advantage. 

Sterling picked out the late run of Gundogan and the industrious German who fired home a clinical first-time finish, via a slight deflection off Long. A simple move with ruthless execution. 

Just before the interval, Sterling – off-the-back of two assists – had the chance to get his name on the scoresheet as he latched onto Phil Foden's delicate clip over the top. Sadly for him, the attacker's attempted chip dropped well wide.  

Dyche made a rare half-time alteration – hooking Dwight McNeil off for Cornet – yet it had the feel of a decision that was focused around managing minutes as opposed to one based around in-game tactics.

Inevitably, the second period continued in the same vein as the first: with the visitors on top. 

Within three minutes of the restart, Pope was upon to deny Foden in the six-yard box and Gundogan from the edge of the box.

On the hour mark, Grealish released Foden on his left-foot but the latter was unable to keep his shot down as he looked to find the net with power. 

Gabriel Jesus – who came on for Foden shortly after that aforementioned chance – volleyed over on the stretch as he latched onto another teasing ball from Sterling. 

Another substitute – Jay Rodriguez – got Burnley's first shot on-target after 75 minutes of action, but Ederson easily claimed the striker's shot from distance. 

Jesus then had two opportunities to add some icing sugar to the City cake but he couldn't take either.

First, he combined with fellow sub Bernardo Silva but his emphatic volley crashed off the post. The Brazilian did soon retrieve the ball again but he couldn't direct his second attempt on target. 

In the end, it was a vintage performance from Guardiola's men. They cannot afford any slip-ups in this tightest of title races and they never looked like crumbling here. 

It could be a slightly tougher affair, next weekend, when they take on Liverpool at the Etihad. Games don't get much bigger than that!

As for Burnley, this was a free-hit for them as far as fighting off relegation goes. Games like this do not define your top-flight future.

However, with end of the season now coming into sight, the Clarets really need to start performing when it matters if they are to drag themselves out of peril. They currently sit in 19th.