Gabriel Jesus goal sees off Sheffield United as Manchester City win again

PA Sport Staff
·4-min read

Gabriel Jesus scored the winner as Premier League leaders Manchester City maintained their impressive run with a hard-fought 1-0 success over bottom side Sheffield United.

The Brazil striker netted after just nine minutes at the Etihad Stadium but victory proved far from straightforward as the battling visitors, buoyed by their midweek win at Manchester United, made the going tough.

Despite dominating possession, City struggled to create meaningful chances and they were almost caught out late on when John Fleck shot narrowly wide.

Yet other than that late scare, and despite not peppering the visitors’ goal with chances, it was still a strong performance by City as they claimed their eighth successive win in the Premier League and maintained their position at the top.

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring the opening goal
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring the opening goal (Martin Rickett/PA)

Manchester United fell further off the pace as they were held to a goalless draw at Arsenal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes from the shock defeat to Sheffield United in midweek but had to settle for a 0-0 draw against a Gunners outfit missing arguably their three best players.

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney were all absent, but Mikel Arteta’s side have been in much better form of late and came closest to taking the three points through an Alexandre Lacazette free-kick which hit the crossbar.

United created more chances but could not find a way through and they are now three points behind City, having played a game more than their neighbours.

Alexandre Lacazette came closest to breaking the deadlock at the Emirates
Lacazette came closest to breaking the deadlock at the Emirates (Andy Rain/PA)

Substitute Ivan Cavaleiro snatched a point for Fulham in a thrilling 2-2 draw at relegation rivals West Brom.

Kyle Bartley and Matheus Pereira had turned the game in the second half after the Baggies looked doomed following a wretched start.

Bobby Decordova-Reid’s opener helped the Cottagers dominate before the break, with the striker also hitting the post.

But Scott Parker’s side are now winless in 10 Premier League games and sit four points from safety, with Albion a further two points behind.

Kyle Bartley hauled West Brom level shortly after the interval
Kyle Bartley hauled West Brom level shortly after the interval (Geoff Caddick/PA)

Callum Wilson’s two goals eased the pressure on beleaguered manager Steve Bruce as Newcastle registered their first points of 2021 with a vital 2-0 win at Everton.

The £20million summer signing’s 50th Premier League goal made the important breakthrough in the 73rd minute and he doubled his tally in added time against the off-key hosts.

Those goals took him to double figures for the season and ended a run of nine league matches without a win for Newcastle, stretching back to December 12, while also securing a first success at Goodison Park since 2010, lifting them further clear of the bottom three.

Eberechi Eze celebrates after scoring for Crystal Palace against Wolves
Eberechi Eze celebrates after scoring for Crystal Palace against Wolves (Julian Finney/PA)

Ebere Eze’s powerful second-half strike helped Crystal Palace end a four-game winless run with a vital 1-0 victory over Wolves.

The summer signing struck for the third time since his move from QPR to lift spirits at the club after a run of one win in 10 matches in all competitions.

It was also Palace’s first triumph over Wolves in five attempts and increased the woes of Nuno Espirito Santo, who has not seen his players taste success in the Premier League for six weeks.

Ross Barkley celebrates after scoring the decisive goal in Villa's win
Ross Barkley celebrates after scoring the decisive goal in Villa’s win (Gareth Fuller/PA)

In the final fixture of the day, Ross Barkley’s first-half header ended Aston Villa’s recent slump as they clinched a 1-0 victory at Southampton.

The Chelsea loanee scored his first goal since October when he headed home from a Jack Grealish cross to break the deadlock.

Villa went into the match with just one win in their last five games, including twice letting the lead slip in a disappointing 3-2 defeat at Burnley in midweek, but scored the decisive goal just before half-time at St Mary’s.

Southampton had two significant VAR decisions go against them, a penalty shout inside the opening period and a stoppage-time offside decision against Danny Ings.

The result sees Villa climb to eighth, ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea, who have both played more games, while Southampton remain in 11th.