Football

Gabriel Jesus continues his streak of scoring when starting for City

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus maintained his record of scoring in every match he had started for the club this season as the champions defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 to keep up with leaders Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The opener at Selhurst Park was the fifth time he had scored after being named in the first XI, having also done it against West Ham United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Preston and Everton this term.

Pep Guardiola's men travelled to London with questions over their ability to sustain a title challenge after two defeats in four league games, but produced some incisive football without applying their usual killer touch.

They were finally rewarded for their dominance in the 39th minute when Bernardo Silva whipped in a left-footed cross.

Jesus shaped to head the ball, but it came off his shoulder and crept into the net off the far post past a rooted Wayne Hennessey.

They doubled their lead just two minutes later after Raheem Sterling produced a delightful chip from just inside the area into the path of David Silva, who watched it drop over his left shoulder before guiding it into the net.

Guardiola said Jesus was preferred to Sergio Aguero as the Brazilian was sharper after returning from the international break, during which they drew 1-1 in friendlies with Senegal and Nigeria in Singapore.

Said Guardiola: "We have two incredible strikers and Sergio is so important for this club.

"Gabriel came back from Brazil, Sergio was 10 days without rhythm in training, that's why I decided. But both are important.

"When Sergio plays, he plays at a good level and, when Gabriel plays, he plays at a good level.

"After that I will take a decision. It depends on many, many things."

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with City in charge. Kevin de Bruyne was denied a penalty after a VAR check backed up the referee's original decision not to award a spot-kick.

Jesus forced a save from Hennessey before Bernardo Silva forced Hennessey into a one-handed save with a curling left-footed shot from the angle.

City should have killed the game off moments later, but Jesus failed to square the ball to the unmarked de Bruyne. - AFP

Football