Belfast Telegraph

Stones says competition for places is helping City

Manchester City 3 Burnley 0

By Andy Hampson

John Stones believes Manchester City's free-scoring attack is being fuelled by the competition for places among forwards.

City opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.

It was not an emphatic victory in the manner of recent successes against Liverpool, Watford, Crystal Palace and Stoke but it was a professional performance nonetheless in which City again showed their cutting edge.

City have now scored 42 goals in 13 games in all competitions this season and equalled a club record by winning their last 11 games in succession.

Centre back Stones said: "The strikers are on form now. The competition in training is making them want to be better and score more goals.

"When they are on the pitch they have got to take their chances and that is what they are doing. Burnley are a well-organised team, good defensively. To score three against them and keep a clean sheet is massive for us."

City were made to work hard by the Clarets but controlled possession throughout. Their breakthrough came after 30 minutes following the award of a controversial penalty.

Bernardo Silva was adjudged to have been fouled by keeper Nick Pope, infuriating the visitors who felt the Portuguese made the most of minimal contact. Sergio Aguero struck from the spot to equal the club's goalscoring record of 177.

Nicolas Otamendi and the impressive Leroy Sane wrapped up victory in the latter stages.

Belfast Telegraph

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