Bernardo Silva revealed a personal competition between himself and Manchester City team-mate Ruben Dias helped to inspire his opening goal in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

Silva headed City into a 29th-minute lead in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in Budapest before nodding down for Gabriel Jesus to score midway through the second half.

It was the diminutive playmaker's 35th goal for City in all competitions and, perhaps a little surprisingly, his third with his head.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Silva explained he and Portugal team-mate Ruben Dias – a centre-back certainly more adept in the air but yet to open his account for City – are competing to see who can score the most headers this season.

"Usually I'm not [good at scoring headers]. I try to practice a lot – especially now with Ruben," he said.

"We make a little competition to see who scores the most goals with the head.

"I think I was lucky that Joao [Cancelo] gave me a great ball and, yes, I'm happy to have scored and helped the team."

Speaking at a news conference after the game, boss Pep Guardiola said Silva's work on his heading on the training ground – irrespective of whether it is mainly for bragging rights – had not gone unnoticed.

"He is really good at headers, he is really good! I saw in the training sessions," he said.

"When you make an action for a header you have to use the body, not just the head. He used his neck perfectly. He was strong, the goal was fantastic.

"Attacking midfielders have to arrive in the box and Bernardo and Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan] have this quality."

Another of Silva's international team-mates, Joao Cancelo, was named man of the match after he supplied a sumptuous cross for the opener and the centre that led to Jesus' close-range effort.

"He's an amazing player. I've played with him seven years at Benfica. We're from the same generation," Silva added, with Dias also having also come through the ranks with the Lisbon giants.

"I know him very well, so the connection is good. He knows my timing, I know how good he is on these kind of balls.

"It was a very good goal because of his passing qualities. Overall, he's been doing a great season and I'm very happy for him."

Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City must be sharper in front of goal if they are to end their quest for Champions League glory.

City won 2-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest, with Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus on target either side of half-time.

Despite watching his team show almost complete domination while racking up a 19th consecutive win in all competitions, Guardiola sometimes cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines at the Puskas Arena.

Speaking to BT Sport after the match, the City boss warned his players not to repeat the mistakes of botched chances that have stained three consecutive quarter-final exits.

"In general, it was good," he said. "We controlled the game, we concede one chance at the end.

"Unfortunately, we were not clinical enough up front – one against one, against the defender and keeper

"It's something we have to improve in this competition.

"The situation is clear – the one against one against the keeper or against the defenders and we were not able to even dribble.

"In this competition, you have to be perfect to make sure you go through."

Jesus and Raheem Sterling were among those to show hesitation when presented with opportunities in the Gladbach area, with four of City's nine attempts over the course of the 90 minutes on target.

Three missed the mark, while a further two were blocked.

Both goals owed much to Joao Cancelo's sublime deliveries from the left, with Bernardo Silva heading in his fellow Portugal international's cross for the 29th-minute opener.

Silva then nodded down another fine centre for Jesus to smuggle home after the hour.

"He has to improve sometimes and take some risks in some positions but he gives us something special in our process of play," Guardiola said of Cancelo.

"His physicality is so strong. I'm very pleased for the two passes to assist in the final third."

City have progressed from all four of their previous Champions League two-legged knockout ties when they have won the first leg away from home.

But Guardiola baulked at the notion of his team being favourites for European glory, having watched holders and his former employers Bayern Munich demolish Lazio 4-1 on Tuesday.

"When I see Bayern Munich yesterday, I would not think so," he added, before insisting City's sole focus is their next Premier League game this weekend.

"But my target now is just West Ham. For three weeks, we do not know what happens [in the Champions League].

"If the people say [we are favourites], we have to accept it. A team who in our whole history have arrived once in the semi-finals. Okay, it's no problem."

Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus were on target as Manchester City put one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals with an assured 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach

Pep Guardiola's side dominated the vast majority of this last-16 first leg and the City manager might have been frustrated by the failure to turn that into a more commanding lead until Jesus prodded in after 65 minutes.

Silva and Joao Cancelo created that goal after the Portugal duo had also combined for the 29th-minute opener, with the full-back's dipping delivery from the left for his diminutive compatriot to head home a truly sublime moment.

It brings a familiar hurdle into sight for the Premier League leaders, who have fallen at the quarter-final stage in each of the past three seasons.

Gladbach soon found themselves hemmed in by City's slick passing and astute pressing, with last-ditch challenges needed to thwart Jesus and Raheem Sterling.

Guardiola's men were content to bide their time and the opener arrived just before the half hour, with Silva nodding in Cancelo's sumptuous cross from deep at the back post.

Ramy Bensebaini sloppily gave the ball to Jesus in the 53rd minute but he hesitated and let Nico Elvedi get back to make a goal-saving challenge.

A rare moment of encouragement arrived for Gladbach as the hour approached, with Denis Zakaria powering past Rodri but overhitting a pass into the City box that Ederson swept up easily.

The Brazil goalkeeper was scampering in the 63rd minute when Alassane Plea's audacious flick bounced just beyond the far post.

Those minor scares roused City and Jesus showed sharp poaching instincts when Silva again played the unlikely role of back-post target man to tee him up.

When Phil Foden thrashed over from Ilkay Gundogan's 78th-minute knockdown, it was no surprise that Cancelo's chipped ball into the box crafted the opening.

A careless pass in stoppage time from Rodri gave Gladbach substitute Hannes Wolf a chance to reduce the deficit but Ederson prevailed in their one-on-one.
 

What does it mean? Savvy City look primed to push for glory

As Gladbach failed to register a single touch inside their opponents' box during the first half at Budapest's Puskas Arena, it was impossible to imagine this City getting involved in the sort of Champions League firefights that have proved their downfall – ties finishing 6-6 and 4-4 on aggregate against Monaco and Tottenham, only to depart on away goals, springing instantly to mind.

Such total control means Guardiola's team are unlikely to quicken the pulse as they did on those occasions but it makes the one major honour to have eluded the Catalan in Manchester a far more likely prospect.

What's next

City host in-form West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday, when Gladbach travel to title-chasing RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

In-form Raheem Sterling scored his 12th goal of the season as Manchester City cruised into the FA Cup quarter-finals and made history with a 3-1 victory at Swansea City.

Pep Guardiola's irrepressible side eased to a 15th consecutive win - a record for an English top-flight club - at the Liberty Stadium to stay in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.

Kyle Walker opened the scoring with a cross and two goals in the space of three minutes early in the second half put the Premier League leaders out of sight.

Championship promotion contenders Swansea were outclassed as the City juggernaut rolled on, although they did suffer a blow when Rodri was forced off with an injury before Morgan Whittaker pulled a goal back.

Jesus received treatment on his ankle early on, but was able to continue and the striker missed a chance to opening the scoring when he steered Benjamin Mendy's cross wide.

Swansea were chasing shadows as City dominated, knocking the ball around with a swagger, and Ferran Torres' shot from a tight angle was brilliantly tipped wide by Freddy Woodman.

Woodman was beaten on the half-hour mark, though, when Walker's centre from the right evaded everybody and found the far corner of the net.

Marc Guehi nodded wide at the other end in a rare Swansea attack, but an unmarked Sterling finished clinically when he was well picked by Rodri two minutes into the second half.

Swansea were caught out again soon after, with Jesus controlling a clever cushioned header back across goal from Bernardo Silva in an instant and swivelling to fire home with his left foot.

Joel Latibeaudiere somehow denied Mendy a tap-in with great last-ditch defending and Rodri limped off before Whittaker superbly gave the hosts a consolation, drilling in left-footed for his first Swansea goal.

First-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling saw Manchester City ease to a 2-0 win at Burnley.

The Premier League leaders extended their club-record winning run to 13 matches across all competitions, with the result rarely appearing in doubt from the moment Jesus capitalised upon a third-minute error by Nick Pope.

Sterling claimed his 10th of the season seven minutes before the interval, after which point City's football continued to flow but the goals dried up.

Pep Guardiola's side are three points clear at the summit with a game in hand on Manchester United, with champions Liverpool next on their agenda this weekend.

Sterling darted inside from the left to play in Bernardo Silva, whose shot was poorly dealt with by Pope to leave Jesus with a simple leaded finish.

Pope looked to be in trouble again when he charged out of his area to confront Sterling in the 20th minute but the England goalkeeper managed to get a timely foot in.

City had to bide their time as Burnley grew into the contest but a wonderful link-up between Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan allowed the latter to drill across goal for Sterling to convert from close range.

Joao Cancelo fired too close to Pope just before half-time and Burnley's number one sharply thwarted Sterling early in the second period as the visitors looked to conclusively end the argument.

Mahrez thought he had but was fractionally offside when he steered in Jesus' cross.

Burnley finally registered a shot in the 64th minute when Matej Vydra acrobatically volleyed over, but waves of slick City attacks continued to arrive.

Ederson decided to involve himself in the action by clattering through Erik Pieters and provide the strange spectacle of a goalkeeper getting booked for a foul on a left-back.

It was the closest City came to a scare.

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points as they beat Sheffield United 1-0 to make it a club-record 12 wins in a row in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola's side continued a renaissance that has restored them to the summit of the English top flight and marked them out as clear favourites to clinch the title.

Gabriel Jesus' ninth-minute strike decided the game but, while City failed to add to their advantage as a result of a blunt performance in the final third, they never looked like conceding an equaliser.

Sheffield United arrived at the Etihad Stadium with a renewed sense of hope following their shock midweek victory away to Manchester United.

But City quickly set about extinguishing any optimism, Ferran Torres capitalising on a defensive mix-up before showing great feet to beat his man on the byline and teeing up Jesus for a tap-in.

Although the nature of the opener will have disappointed Blades boss Chris Wilder, he will have been pleased with his players' response to such an early setback.

They restricted the hosts to just one more shot on target before the break thanks to more of the sort of solidity that had earned them three points across Manchester on Wednesday evening.

Unsurprisingly, City looked to up the tempo following the restart, and went close through a Ruben Dias header from Ilkay Gundogan's cross within two minutes.

But they continued to struggle to carve out clear opportunities, their next big chance again coming from a corner as Aymeric Laporte's header forced Aaron Ramsdale into a save.

Sheffield United enjoyed their best spell of the match in the final five minutes, with a John Fleck long-distance effort whistling just past the post in that period.

However, they had left it too late to put sustained pressure on the hosts, who saw out the remaining minutes to claim yet another victory in a remarkable run of form.

What does it mean? City juggernaut rolls on

City's previous title successes under Guardiola have been built on a simply unstoppable attack occasionally covering for a less-than-convincing defence, but that certainly isn't the case with this team.

The Blues have conceded the fewest goals (13) and kept the most clean sheets (12) of any side in the Premier League this season, and that is driving a renewed charge to regain the title.

Laporte proves worth

Ruben Dias' role in City's recent defensive improvement means only the spot next to him is up for grabs when it comes to Guardiola picking a team.

Laporte strengthened his case to start more regularly, winning a team-high eight aerial duels out of the nine he contested against physical opposition.

The defender also took more touches than any player on the pitch (137) and completed the most passes (119).

Brewster struggles continue

Brought into a team that pulled off a huge shock at Old Trafford, Rhian Brewster failed to stake a claim to more regular starts.

The Englishman managed just one speculative shot from distance and fewer touches than any other starter (20).

What's next?

Manchester City will look to extend their winning run against Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday, while Sheffield United must try to get back to winning ways at home to West Brom 24 hours earlier.

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points as they beat Sheffield United 1-0.

Pep Guardiola's side claimed a 12th successive win in all competitions to continue a renaissance that has restored them to the summit of the English top flight and marked them out as clear favourites to clinch the title.

Gabriel Jesus' ninth-minute strike decided the game but, while City failed to add to their advantage as a result of a blunt performance in the final third, they never looked like conceding an equaliser.

Sheffield United arrived at the Etihad Stadium with a renewed sense of hope following their shock midweek victory away to Manchester United.

But City quickly set about extinguishing any optimism, Ferran Torres capitalising on a defensive mix-up before showing great feet to beat his man on the byline and teeing up Jesus for a tap-in.

Although the nature of the opener will have disappointed Blades boss Chris Wilder, he will have been pleased with his players' response to such an early setback.

They restricted the hosts to just one more shot on target before the break thanks to more of the sort of solidity that had earned them three points across Manchester on Wednesday evening.

Unsurprisingly, City looked to up the tempo following the restart, and went close through a Ruben Dias header from Ilkay Gundogan's cross within two minutes.

But they continued to struggle to carve out clear opportunities, their next big chance again coming from a corner as Aymeric Laporte's header forced Aaron Ramsdale into a save.

Sheffield United enjoyed their best spell of the match in the final five minutes, with a John Fleck long-distance effort whistling just past the post in that period.

However, they had left it too late to put sustained pressure on the hosts, who saw out the remaining minutes to claim yet another victory in a remarkable run of form.

What does it mean? City juggernaut rolls on

City's previous title successes under Guardiola have been built on a simply unstoppable attack occasionally covering for a less-than-convincing defence, but that certainly isn't the case with this team.

The Blues have conceded the fewest goals (13) and kept the most clean sheets (12) of any side in the Premier League this season, and that is driving a renewed charge to regain the title.

What's next?

Manchester City will look to extend their winning run against Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday, while Sheffield United must try to get back to winning ways at home to West Brom 24 hours earlier.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed three more "important" Manchester City players have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their Premier League visit to Chelsea on Sunday. 

City's top-flight clash with Everton on Monday was postponed following a coronavirus outbreak at the club, with Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker and another two staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

The match was called off in the hours before kick-off after City "returned a number of positive cases", with the fixture becoming the second in the competition to be postponed this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Newcastle were struck by the virus and missed a game at Aston Villa, while a third postponement followed on Wednesday as Tottenham versus Fulham fell by the wayside.

City resumed training on Wednesday but Guardiola has now confirmed that three more first-team players have joined Jesus and Walker in testing positive for COVID-19.

"It was four people, two players, the first time and then three more," he told a media conference. 

"I don't think the Premier League allows us to name the players but you will know tomorrow. 

"We have to respect the privacy of the players maybe. Tomorrow you will see the lineups and three important players not there so you will know exactly but I'm not allowed to tell you.

"People are dying all around the world. Unfortunately, the problem is still here but now the training centre is disinfected and hopefully the next tests everyone is negative and the people that are positive can come back without problems."

There have been growing calls for a circuit break – a tight set of restrictions, likely including the suspension of games, designed to reverse the tide of the pandemic – but Guardiola is content to keep following the Premier League's advice.

"We will follow what the Premier League says," he added. "They are doing an incredible job and have been since the first lockdown but it is unfortunate what happened with Newcastle.

"I spoke with Steve Bruce and he explained how difficult it was, more than 20 people infected and it can happen to any club in the Premier League.

"The situation everywhere is dramatic, with 1000 deaths in a day. We have to be careful.

"We are delighted to play games and do our job but at the same time we cannot ignore the reality that the virus is here and we don't know exactly when you can get it. We have to be careful, wearing masks and socially distancing."

Pep Guardiola applauded Manchester City's victory over Newcastle United, describing the 2-0 triumph as their "performance of the season".

City eased past Newcastle thanks to goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres to move within five points of Premier League leaders Liverpool on Saturday.

Guardiola's City have kept 13 clean sheets in all competitions this season – more than any other team in the top five European leagues in 2020-21.

Speaking afterwards, a happy Guardiola told reporters: "It was the best performance of the season. Our football has to be played in one rhythm so we cannot play in a rhythm that has ups and downs so quickly.

"You have to make a tempo that makes a lot, a thousand-million, passes in the right moment to attack. To do this everyone has to be in his position and everyone has to do his job. Today was a big example, unfortunately, playing a team always with 10 players behind is not easy to attack but the guys were really good.

"I'm so glad about the way we played. That's always a consequence for the points we get. We have another victory, we climb some positions, and now we can't stop in the good or bad moments, we need to be calm because in less than 44 hours we'll have another game and we're going to Goodison Park to try to play well first of all.

"The result is always the consequences of the way you played. This was our success in the past and we're going to continue in the next years."

Gundogan opened the scoring in the 14th minute before Torres doubled the lead 10 minutes into the second half at home to visiting Newcastle.

Raheem Sterling's assist for Gundogan was his 150th goal involvement in all competitions since Guardiola joined City in 2016 (96 goals and 54 assists) – more than any other player at the club in that time, per Opta.

City have won all seven games in all competitions in which Torres has scored for the team, with five of his seven strikes coming at the Etihad Stadium.

Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker, meanwhile, missed the clash due to coronavirus, after the star City pair and two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Asked about Jesus and Walker, City manager Guardiola said: "Listen the last thing I think right now is without Gabriel and Kyle is a problem for the team. What we want, what I want is Gabriel and Kyle being [tested] positive but not getting worse and being asymptomatic and pass these 10 days without any symptoms.

"COVID is here, it's not here in Manchester, it's in many cities all around the world. That's why we have to be careful and what we want is for them to recover in the next days. And we are going to wait for them. We are looking forward to seeing them again. Without them, we're going to move forward. The team, the guys who want to join us and commit to the team, what we want to do all together, they will more be than welcome.

"So the guys who think about what is best for the team, the guys who think I have to give something for the team, even it's worse for me those guys will be part of the team forever. If the guy doesn't want it, they will be the problem."

Manchester City revealed on Christmas Day that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker and another two members of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

Striker Jesus scored an early opening goal in the 4-1 EFL Cup quarter-final win at Arsenal on Tuesday, while defender Walker made a substitute appearance.

The duo will miss the Boxing Day Premier League encounter with Newcastle United as they self-isolate after contracting COVID-19.

City face Everton two days later in a hectic festive period before a trip to Chelsea on January 3.

Pep Guardiola's side then take on Manchester United in a mouthwatering EFL Cup semi-final derby at Old Trafford on January 6.

City said in a statement: "Manchester City FC can confirm that Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker, and two members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

"All four personnel will now observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine.

"Everyone at the club wishes our colleagues a speedy recovery over the Christmas period ahead of their return to work, training and competition."

The most wonderful time of the year may not be quite as magical as years gone by due to restrictions on all of our lives caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Christmas is still a special period, though, and the familiarity of a hectic Premier League schedule is sure to be a comfort to fans across the globe.

We appreciate you may be about to tuck into your dinner or snoozing after over-indulging already, but why not digest some tasty Christmas Premier League facts before cracking on with the next beer?

Wondering where you enjoy such a gem? Well we have you covered below, with the help of the happy little elves at Opta.


SANTA SLEIGHED BY SALAH

We ho ho hope you don't mind a little Christmas gag to headline this section to get us cracking…

It seemed only fitting to start with a bit of a coincidence that once upon a time a man with a festive theme in his name was responsible for the best minutes-per-goal ratio during the month of December.

That man was ex-Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz, who netted nine times in 846 minutes for a ratio of 94 minutes per goal.

Alas, just like Rudolph and the rest of the gang at the end of a busy Christmas Eve shift, Santa Cruz has been reined in. The honour now goes to Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, who has a goal every 91 minutes in matches played in December (19 goals in 1737 minutes).

Mick Quinn (97 mins per goal), Divock Origi (105 mins per goal) and Demba Ba (106 mins per goal) complete the top five for December.


MAYNOR THE KING OF THE CHRISTMAS CRACKERS?

Paper hats, Christmas jokes and cheaply assembled plastic toys…you all love pulling a cracker at Christmas!

And there have been many crackers scored in the month of December in the Premier League – not least Maynor Figueroa's 60.5-yard effort for Wigan Athletic against Stoke City back in 2009, which remains the longest of long-range goals in the competition during the final month of the calendar year.

The full-back's quick thinking with a free-kick from his own half caught Thomas Sorensen off guard and nestled in the back of the goal.

Former Portsmouth man Matt Taylor had a penchant for a long-range goal and his famous audacious volley against Everton in 2006 measured in at 40.6 yards.

Juan Mata (39.9 yards for Man Utd v Stoke), Sebastian Larsson (39.4 yards for Birmingham City versus Wigan) and Kevin De Bruyne (38.3 yards for Manchester City v Crystal Palace) all rank in the top five.


LLORIS AND THE KEEPERS GIFTING OUT THE GOODS

Christmas, at least under normal circumstances, is a time for spending time with loved ones and eating copious amounts of foods that aren't particularly good for us.

It is also, of course, if we're being honest, a time to exchange tat by the Christmas tree and say a silent prayer the generous buyer has kept the receipts.

Obviously, in football you're not supposed to be generous with your gifts – but Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been particularly forthcoming with presents for opposition teams at this time of year.

The France World Cup winner has committed seven errors in the month of December, a Premier League high and one more than Red Devils number one David De Gea.

Unsurprisingly, goalkeepers make up the top five with Petr Cech (6), Robert Green (5) and Simon Mignolet (4) all featuring. Indeed of those to have committed three or more errors leading to goals in December, ex-Newcastle United defender Aaron Hughes is the only outfield player on our list.


SANTA'S NOT THE ONLY LAPLAND VISITOR

Santa makes his annual jolly around the globe to deliver presents to all the good boys and girls but back in 2001 there was another who heralded from Lapland to visit England.

Finland international Hannu Tihinen arrived on loan at West Ham from Norwegian side Viking and fittingly made his Premier League debut on Boxing Day!

In total he made just eight Premier League appearances, winning just once in England's top flight.

Perhaps the difference in quality was just – ahem – poles apart for Tihinen, who was nonetheless part of the side that memorably defeated Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup early in 2002.


RED DEVILS TOP OF THE TREE

The old cliche is that it means nothing to be top at Christmas…but for the sake of the jokes in this piece it's very important to be top of the tree come December 25!

Manchester United have sat in such a position on seven occasions, more than any other team, but Liverpool – six times – are the only side to hold top spot three seasons running having done so in 2018, 2019 and now 2020.

In total, 11 sides have managed to be top at Christmas - Chelsea (5), Arsenal (2) and Manchester City (2) unsurprisingly doing so. Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United (2), Aston Villa, Leeds United and Leicester City have also achieved the honour.

There have been 15 instances of a team being in first place on December 25 and jingling all the way to the Premier League title, but nothing can be wrapped up this early in the season.


SNOW-BODY DOES IT BETTER THAN SHEARER OVER CHRISTMAS

For a man with 260 Premier League goals to his name, it should come as no surprise to hear that the player with the most goals scored in the period from December 26 to January 5 is Alan Shearer.

The Newcastle United great netted 23 times between those dates, five more than the 18 celebrated by former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler.

Dimitar Berbatov and Jermain Defoe each have 17, while Steven Gerrard has 16 – the same amount as Tottenham star Harry Kane, who has Shearer's record in his sights.

In a league table of win percentages during this period, Manchester United lead the way with 64.6 per cent, while Liverpool (59.5 per cent) have brought plenty of festive cheer too.

At the opposite end, Sheffield United have won just 18.2 per cent of Premier League games for those dates over Christmas, while Crystal Palace 21.2 per cent fare little better.


JESUS RISES TO THE OCCASION

Christmas for many is mainly a secular celebration nowadays but the traditional meaning of the holiday season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

In the Premier League, there have been six occasions of a player with Jesus in their name scoring a December goal – five of which were from Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.

The other was netted by former City winger Jesus Navas, who fittingly at this time of year often delivered for others – producing six December assists and amassing 74 crosses from open play.

Manchester City booked an EFL Cup semi-final spot and piled more pressure on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta with a resounding 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. 

Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola's assistant at City before taking charge of the Gunners a year ago, has faced questions over his future after a dismal start to the season has left his side languishing in 15th in the Premier League. 

He did not find any respite against his former club, with City – who have won the competition in each of the last three seasons – easing through to the last four after second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte. 

Alexandre Lacazette had earlier given the hosts hope of ending a run of three straight home defeats to City when he cancelled out Gabriel Jesus' early opener, but that proved to be a rare moment of joy in yet another turgid defeat for the beleaguered north London club.

The visitors started in ruthless fashion, taking the lead after just 125 seconds when Jesus headed Oleksandr Zinchenko's left-wing cross past Runar Alex Runarsson inside the six-yard box, ending a goal drought of 609 minutes for the Brazilian.

Laporte headed wide from a corner before the Gunners pulled level with their first effort on target in the 31st minute, Lacazette heading home Gabriel Martinelli's cross from six yards out.

City should have restored their lead before the interval, but Runarsson raced off his line to deny Jesus after a smart move on the edge of the penalty area involving Foden.

The Arsenal goalkeeper was entirely at fault for City's second nine minutes after the interval, though, allowing Mahrez's free-kick from the edge of the area to squirm through his tepid grasp.

City added a third five minutes later when Foden latched onto Fernandinho's pass and lofted a delightful finish over Runarsson, although the goal would have been disallowed if VAR had been in use with replays clearly showing the midfielder was offside. 

The holders added gloss to an 18th straight victory in the competition in the 73rd minute, Laporte stealing in at the back post to head home Foden's inviting cross. 

Gabriel Jesus was a surprise absentee and Sergio Aguero only made the bench as Manchester City attempted to return to winning ways at Southampton in the Premier League. 

Brazilian striker Jesus has scored just twice in the Premier League this season, but it was fitness rather than form which saw him sidelined for the clash with Saints on Saturday.

City said Jesus and defender Aymeric Laporte, also missing from the 20-man matchday squad, were "not fully fit" for the match at St Mary's.

Aguero, however, was healthy enough to take his place among the nine substitutes - upped this week from seven in a move to allow for concussion replacements.

The striker has struggled for fitness this season and missed training after the West Brom game, but he took part on Friday, giving manager Pep Guardiola the option to use him at some point.

Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling led the City attack, as Guardiola made four chances from the midweek draw with West Brom.

Torres, Kyle Walker, John Stones and Bernardo Silva all came into the XI as Jesus, Phil Foden, Nathan Ake and Benjamin Mendy made way.

Goal-shy City, unusually struggling to put the ball in the net this season, went into the game on the south coast 11 points behind leaders Liverpool, albeit with two games in hand, after Jurgen Klopp's men thrashed Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park.

The loss of Jesus comes amid a disappointing run of form for the striker in this season's Premier League. He has failed to score in his last five appearances, despite playing the full 90 minutes each time.

He had just three shots in total across his last three games, suggesting he was perhaps due a spell out of the team, regardless of fitness.

Torres, however, has fared similarly disappointingly on the goals front, netting once in 422 minutes in this season's Premier League, with a dismal shot conversion rate - including blocks - of 7.14 per cent. 

City stood four points behind Southampton going into the game.

Fernandinho believes Gabriel Jesus' pace and passion can give Manchester City's attack the cutting edge they have lacked this season.

Jesus came off the bench during the second half of City's 0-0 draw at Porto on Tuesday, a result that sealed top spot in Champions League Group C.

It was a frustrating outing in front of goal for Pep Guardiola's side, something that has become familiar during a stuttering start that sees them lying 11th in a compressed Premier League table, and City's 18 attempts were their most without scoring in a Champions League match.

Jesus looked to have ended their frustration 10 minutes from time, beating inspired Porto goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin at the second attempt before a VAR review showed Joao Cancelo was offside before delivering the cross to set him up.

The Brazil striker has three goals from seven appearances in an injury-interrupted campaign and his compatriot Fernandinho believes Jesus gives another dimension to a City forward line that is still without Sergio Aguero after his latest knee setback.

"A striker always should be alert in the box and he showed his quality," the veteran midfielder told BT Sport.

"Unfortunately, it was offside but I'm glad for him. He changed the game with his passion and his pace

"It was a good point for us and we’re glad to finish top of the group."

Fernandinho made his first start since suffering an injury during the initial encounter with Porto in Manchester six weeks ago.

He was in the thick of a frequently combative affair - contesting 10 duels, making three interceptions and committing five fouls, while also winning a pair of free-kicks.

"It's important to get one point away from home. Especially against a tough team like they are," the 35-year-old said.

"They fought the whole game to get the point and go through as well.

"I think we tried to win the game since the beginning. We tried to play our game since the first minute."

Porto joined Manchester City in the Champions League knockout stages after a 0-0 draw where Gabriel Jesus was denied a winning goal by VAR. 

Pep Guardiola's side were already through to the last-16 and will now progress as group winners, although they will be frustrated to have lost their 100 per cent record in this season's competition having dominated for long periods at Estadio do Dragao. 

Jesus scored on the rebound when Agustin Marchesin tipped his 80th-minute header onto the crossbar, although replays showed Joao Cancelo was fractionally offside before delivering his cross to the Brazil striker. 

Marseille's win over Olympiacos rendered this match to be academic, with the other two teams in Group C on three points apiece. 

City penned Porto into their own half for most of the opening exchanges, while each side had penalty claims ignored by referee Bjorn Kuipers - first when Malang Sarr slid in on Raheem Sterling before Ederson robustly met fellow Brazilian Otavio in his area. 

Ederson palmed Diogo Leite's 22nd-minute header out of his goalmouth, sparking a rapid break where opposite number Agustin Marchesin thwarted Ferran Torres. 

Sarr made a vital clearance over his own crossbar when Sterling scampered in behind the Porto defence, with the England winger's shot from the resulting corner cleared off the line by Zaidu Sanusi. 

Phil Foden's sumptuous 58th-minute throughball found Sterling, although Marchesin was equal to the task and Torres' footing deserted him when the rebound fell his way. 

In a remarkable 70th-minute sequence, a stretching Ruben Dias inadvertently hooked a Sterling attempt out of the Porto goalmouth, with Marchesin equal to Torres' overhead kick follow-up. 

The home goalkeeper made another brilliant save from Dias' centre-back partner Eric Garcia, earning his VAR reprieve by the time he was finally beaten by Jesus.

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