Pep Guardiola praised Rodri and Gabriel Jesus after they starred in Manchester City’s victory over Burnley.
The Premier League champions won 4-1 at Turf Moor on Tuesday night, with Jesus ending an eight-game run without scoring by netting a brace and Rodri capping an excellent performance with a rocket of a volley for City’s third.
Substitute Riyad Mahrez scored a late fourth and the only blot on a fine performance came when Robbie Brady grabbed a consolation for Burnley moments later.
Rodri returned to the starting line-up, and Guardiola said: “It was outstanding the way he played, not just with the ball. He was so clever moving right to left. That’s why the reception for the players up front was easier and quicker.
“He was in the right moment for the transitions. Always he helped us. He’s adjusted and he’s perfect for this league. I think Man City bought an incredible player for the next years.”
With Sergio Aguero absent because of a thigh injury, Jesus is shouldering the main goal-scoring burden and he handled it with aplomb on Tuesday, curling a sublime opener inside the post before hooking in a second from Bernardo Silva’s fine cross.
Guardiola added: “We’ve lost an incredible striker in Sergio so we need him, he needed to score these two goals. These goals will help him and the team. He scored two incredible goals.”
The result lifted City back to within eight points of leaders Liverpool before Wednesday’s Merseyside derby, but Guardiola insisted it would be “crazy” to think about the title.
“The title is over. From what I read nobody gives us a chance. It’s done,” he said sarcastically.
“I don’t believe it, but it is not about whether I believe it or I don’t believe it. It is about the next game.
“Our team is stable and that’s what we want. For the distance we have against Liverpool, it would be crazy to think about the title, honestly.
“We have to think about the (Manchester) derby (on Saturday), game by game. There are other competitions – the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League. It is important to take this rhythm for the next games.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche conceded his side were outplayed.
“In the first half we tried to keep it tight, we know it’s difficult if you open up against these sort of sides,” he said.
“They scored a worldy to get their noses in front and then in the second half we didn’t turn up at all. We didn’t lay a glove on them physically. We didn’t keep the ball and they did.
“They’ve been getting a lot of question marks but when they turn up they really do. They were by far the better side.”