MANCHESTER — Pep Guardiola played down the significance of moving five points clear at the top of the Premier League following Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Burnley.
Sergio Aguero scored a penalty to equal City’s all-time goal scoring record before second-half goals from Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane condemned the Clarets to their first away defeat of the season.
And with rivals Manchester United surprisingly losing at newly promoted Huddersfield Town, Guardiola’s side have opened up a small gap at the top of the Premier League.
“In May, it will be significant — in October, no,” Guardiola told a news conference when asked about City’s lead at the top.
But he was happy City equalled a club record run of 11 games in all competitions — the first time they have achieved it in a single season.
“It means a lot. The record is good if you lift something — titles or a trophy,” he added. “It is not easy to win 11 in a row, so it’s good. I’m so happy to continue our winning mentality.
“We are top of both groups [Premier League and Champions League] but that doesn’t mean anything more than that.
“Last year we won 10 and we didn’t finish OK. I just tell my players I’m grateful.
“If we lose our rhythm we can lose so we just keep focused and concentrate on our game.”
Burnley put up a stubborn effort and made it difficult for City to break them down. But it didn’t stop them from dominating the game with 78 percent possession and 10 shots on target to Burnley’s none.
“If people come here thinking that you are going to be 5-0 up after 20 minutes that’s not going to happen,” the Catalan said. “At 0-0 it was difficult but we were stable, we created more chances than them and we scored when we had to. In general, we controlled the game and that let us win.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche was unhappy about the opening goal from the penalty spot after Bernardo Silva was brought down by Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope. Dyche claimed the Portuguese playmaker, who was making just his second Premier League start of the season, made the most of minimal contact.
“The problem is at the moment, there is contact. But if I contact my kid in the garden I would be amazed if he got that high of the floor,” he told a news conference.
“It is amazing how high these players go. How the referee has seen it — I had to watch it four times to see contact.”
Bernardo insisted that he was caught by Pope for the penalty in the 30th minute.
“He clearly touched me, I felt it. I haven’t seen the replay yet but I think it was a penalty,” he told reporters. “He touched me and my ankle turned. It hurt a little bit and for me it was a penalty.”