Kyle Walker says it was a reality check to be dropped by Manchester City.

Gabriel Jesus scored a brace as Manchester City beat 10-man Wolves 3-0 at home to cut Liverpool's lead at the top of the Premier League back to four points.

David Silva is set to break a Manchester City record after being named captain for Monday's Premier League game at home to Wolves.

Gabriel Jesus hailed his "special" week after boosting his case for Manchester City selection over "legend" Sergio Aguero with five goals in two games.

After getting on the scoresheet in a 7-0 FA Cup win over Rotherham United at the weekend, Jesus hit four in a 9-0 demolition of Burton Albion in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

With Aguero not in the squad for the Burton game, Jesus staked his claim to start Monday's Premier League game at home to Wolves as the title race continues.

City boss Pep Guardiola has challenged Jesus to push Aguero hard for a place in City's front line and the Brazil striker is relishing the battle.

"Sergio is a legend here, important to the club, and plays very well – we all know that," Jesus told reporters after the first four-goal haul of his career.

"I'm here to help the team, to help Sergio, Pep and everyone and work hard, make it happen.

"I just wanted to enjoy the game and score. Sergio has scored a lot of goals for City and I respect him as a legend, so when Pep puts him in the team, he helps. I am the same when I am on the pitch.

"It was very important for my mentality. I need to score goals, I know that. Sometimes it's difficult but I always try to score and help the team. I am a striker so I have to score, but I always try to play well and help the team every time.

"This week is special to me because I have scored a lot. I maybe I tried too hard against Rotherham and missed two or three goals. I work hard every day on scoring goals, and that is why this made me so happy, as my work paid off."

Jesus has only scored three goals in 16 Premier League appearances this season but the 21-year-old feels he is bouncing back from a period of poor form after underachieving at last year's World Cup.

"Last year was difficult for me after the World Cup, but I have forgotten that now," Jesus added. "I think I played very well at the World Cup but didn't score a goal. In Brazil it is difficult when you are a striker and don't score at the World Cup.

"My feeling is back, and I have been so happy that my family is here with me. On Tuesday they go to Brazil, but that is life. You need to work, to do what you love, and football is what I love."

Oleksandr Zinchenko says Manchester City wanted to score double figures as they thrashed Burton Albion 9-0 in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final.

Gabriel Jesus scored four times as City ran riot at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, League One side Burton humbled in the club's first cup semi.

City put seven past Rotherham United in the FA Cup last time out but Zinchenko, also on target in the joint-biggest win of Pep Guardiola's managerial career, craved even more goals.

"It's the first time I've played in a win like this," he told reporters. "To be fair we scored a lot of goals, we wanted more, and our fans did too. We wished we could get 10, maybe next time.

"At half-time Pep said keep going in the same way, the same spirit and if we can score more."

Zinchenko scored the fourth goal of City's largest victory since 1987, but he denied suggestions he was not trying to find the net.

"Was my goal a cross?!" he joked. "A little respect please."

Jesus has struggled for consistent form this season but the Brazil striker hit his second home hat-trick for City.

"I have never scored four before in my career," he said.

"I am so happy for this. We played very well and with respect, that's important.

"Players like me want to play more, to help the team, and we went out there to win."

Gabriel Jesus grabbed four goals as Manchester City all but secured their place in the EFL Cup final with a crushing 9-0 first-leg victory over Burton Albion on Wednesday.

The Premier League champions have now put 16 goals past lower-league opposition in the past four days, Pep Guardiola's men having thrashed Rotherham United 7-0 in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Kevin De Bruyne's first headed goal in English football set the hosts on their way, with Jesus adding a quickfire double before Oleksandr Zinchenko fortuitously opened his City account.

Jesus took his tally to four either side of Phil Foden's tap-in, before Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez completed a miserable night for Burton's cup heroes.

It took City five minutes to unlock the Burton defence, David Silva's pinpoint pass picking out De Bruyne's run and the Belgium international made no mistake with his header.

Despite falling behind Burton rallied and Marcus Harness should have equalised in the 12th minute, but Saturday's hat-trick hero blazed Lucas Akins' cross over the bar.

City's control of proceedings was never under threat, though, and in the space of seven minutes the hosts were four goals ahead as Jesus and Zinchenko struck.

Having pounced on a loose ball after Leroy Sane's shot was saved by Bradley Collins, Jesus doubled his tally from Silva's pass – the striker taking his time before slotting it in off the post.

City's fourth was harsh on the visitors as Zinchenko's attempted cross looped over Collins, but there was no doubting the quality of Jesus' hat-trick goal as he converted Mahrez's cross to the back post.

Four minutes after replacing the impressive De Bruyne, Foden had his second Etihad goal in as many games, the youngster profiting after Jesus had been held up by Burton's defenders.

Jesus would not be denied a fourth moments later, though, as Sane beautifully controlled Mahrez's pass on his chest before finding the striker, who applied the finishing touch.

After setting up Walker for City's eighth, Mahrez completed Burton's misery with a goal of his own, the Algeria international poking the ball past Collins to round out a one-sided semi-final encounter.

 

What does it mean? Seventh final awaits City

City's 11th EFL Cup semi-final could not have started any better with Guardiola's side already planning for next month's showpiece, which would be their seventh appearance in the showpiece. For Burton boss Nigel Clough – who won the competition twice as a player – he will just hope the aggregate score does not bring further embarrassment in the second leg.

Joy for Jesus

After struggling in front of goal at times this season, Jesus was in fine form as Burton were easily brushed aside. His second treble at the Etihad Stadium means he has now scored 11 goals in his last seven starts for City in all competitions.

Harness rues missed opportunity

While it may not have stopped the City juggernaut, Harness' miss at 1-0 could have at least slowed the hosts down and brought a moment of celebration for the travelling Burton fans. As it was he cleared the crossbar and City ran riot afterwards.

What's next?

City's attention turns back to the Premier League title when they face Wolves on Monday, while two days earlier Burton will hope for more joy against Gillingham.

Pep Guardiola has challenged Gabriel Jesus to respond to the task of dislodging Sergio Aguero as Manchester City's first-choice striker.

Marco Silva pointed to misses by Richarlison in his summing up of Everton's 3-1 defeat at Manchester City, but said winning at Etihad Stadium requires "perfect" defending.

Brazilian forward Richarlison has scored eight goals in 15 Premier League appearances this season but he missed a golden opportunity to give Everton the lead against City, shortly before compatriot Gabriel Jesus put the home side ahead.

Jesus scored once more before Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed home to give Everton hope, but Raheem Sterling restored City's two-goal advantage with his first touch after coming on as a substitute.

"Manchester City deserved the three points," Silva conceded after the game. "They were more effective than us with the chances they created.

"We knew before the match their qualities. We needed to be perfect in defence.

"Until they scored the first goal, the game was within what we expected and planned. They did not shoot once.

"The biggest chance until that moment was Richarlison's chance, a big, big chance. After that, it changed."

The result left Everton without a win in their last four Premier League matches and Silva admitted his defenders need to improve.

Both Jesus and Sterling were left unmarked for their second-half strikes, despite Everton having plenty of men back.

"We knew they had the quality to command the match," Silva continued.

"We had three against one in our box for that chance and when you have Michael [Keane] and [Yerry] Mina against Jesus and they score that means we could do better.

"They score too fast the 3-1 and after we have three clear chances to score.

"When you have chances like Richarlison, Richarlison again, Theo [Walcott] and Dominic [Calvert-Lewin], you have to score."

Pep Guardiola expressed his admiration for Raheem Sterling after the England forward ended the week in which he was the subject of alleged racist abuse by Chelsea supporters by scoring with his first touch against Everton.

Sterling came on as a second-half substitute moments after Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored to put Everton back in the game at 2-1 and made an immediate impact, heading Fernandinho's cross into the net from close range to restore City's two-goal advantage.

Sterling spent the week leading up to the game in the headlines following an incident in City's 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, and Guardiola said the 24-year-old has the support of everyone at the Etihad Stadium.

"I think Raheem Sterling has handled the last few years in terms of situations and rumours, about him or his family or the colour of his skin, very calmly," Guardiola told reporters.

"I admire him and appreciate that it’s not easy for him.

"He's loved by all staff and in the locker room."

Gabriel Jesus scored his first Premier League goals since August to give City the lead and Guardiola said the Brazilian reaped the rewards for his intelligent positional play.

Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne were named among the substitutes, the latter coming on in the second half to make his return to first team action after a knee injury, and Guardiola underlined the importance of players coming back to fitness.

"We need everyone," said Guardiola. "Danilo and Sergio Aguero are coming back for other games - next Tuesday, there is another one [against Leicester City in the League Cup].

"We need all the players. Sterling deserved to play because of [his performance against] Hoffenheim. But of course, we can improve and do better.

"Gabriel Jesus is so important. Strikers need to score goals. The difference today was that he scored as he was in better positions.

"It's so good for him and our team. His performance was so valuable."

Gabriel Jesus admits life is getting harder at Manchester City after he scored twice against Everton to stake a claim for a regular place in a team he says is stronger than last season.

With Sergio Aguero yet to return to full fitness after a groin injury, Jesus led the line for City and scored in either half to put them on their way to a 3-1 win that took them back to the top of the Premier League.

Jesus had not scored in the Premier League since August but the 21-year-old slotted home in the 22nd minute after Leroy Sane put him through and then again in the 50th when he headed home a Sane cross.

"I'm so happy with the game and with the win," Jesus told Sky Sports. "We need to win a lot.

"This season is difficult for me. The club is much stronger with amazing players.

"This game was difficult for us. We played very well and won the game."

City's advantage was reduced when Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed in for Everton in the 65th minute, but Raheem Sterling scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute to restore the home side's two-goal lead.

City midfielder Bernardo Silva praised his team-mates' efforts after they bounced back from a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea the previous weekend with victories over Hoffenheim in the Champions League and then Everton.

"It's always good after defeat against Chelsea to give an answer, a response, and to win this game," said Silva.

"We're very happy with it, especially as it was not an easy game. We knew we were playing against a very tough team and to get the three points after that defeat against Chelsea felt very good.

"After that defeat to have two difficult games against Hoffenheim and Everton, two very strong sides, it's good to come back from that. We're very happy with it.

"December and January are two very busy months. We need a lot of players, we need to be focussed, we need to be fit. We'll get as many wins as we can."

Gabriel Jesus ended his 11-game Premier League goal drought with a brace as Manchester City bounced back from their defeat at Chelsea with a 3-1 victory over Everton.

Jesus had not scored in the league since August but, with Sergio Aguero among the substitutes after recovering from a groin injury, the Brazilian striker led the line superbly as Pep Guardiola's side returned to the summit.

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored to cut a two-goal deficit in half but substitute Raheem Sterling, who was allegedly the subject of racial abuse from supporters at Stamford Bridge a week ago, scored the game's crucial fourth goal.

The result sends City back on top of the Premier League until Liverpool play Manchester United on Sunday, while Everton are now winless in four games.

Richarlison missed a fine opportunity to put Everton ahead when he arrived unmarked at the far post but volleyed Bernard's cross high and wide, failing to apply the spectacular finish he intended.

The Toffees were shaping up to give City a tough game only to concede a sloppy opener, Yerry Mina's clearance leading to Leroy Sane playing in Jesus, who guided the ball under the body of the advancing Jordan Pickford.

Pickford made a superb save from Riyad Mahrez at close range before the break but could do little with City's second goal five minutes into the second half, Jesus meeting Sane's curling ball with a clinical header that flashed beyond the England goalkeeper.

There was a mix-up in the City defence when Lucas Digne's looping cross was headed down into the net by Calvert-Lewin via a deflection off Fabian Delph, but Sterling dismissed any ideas of a comeback.

Less than four minutes after replacing Sane, the forward ghosted into the six-yard box to head home Fernandinho's cross from City's left flank.

Sergio Aguero would have risked missing the rest of the calendar year had he played against Bournemouth, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Aguero was absent from the City squad for Saturday's Premier League contest, which City won 3-1 despite being without their record goalscorer, with Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan on target for the Premier League leaders.

The Argentine forward complained of discomfort in training ahead of the match and, with a clash against Chelsea coming up on Saturday and a hectic festive schedule on the horizon, Guardiola will not take risks with Aguero or any member of his squad.

"Eat well, sleep a lot, drink a lot - in a good way, no wine - and prepare," Guardiola told a news conference. "Tell them what's going to happen next Tuesday in Watford and try to win the game and push everybody. That's all. After the decision we'll see the day of the game.

"After Lyon [in the Champions League] I didn't know we were going to come back here and doctors say to me Sergio cannot play. If he plays, maybe four or five weeks out. In that situation in this month with a lot of games, he was not safe. That is normal.

"It is going to happen in the future in the next games. People will start to be tired and a lot of games. That's why we have a deep squad and everybody must be involved.

"It is what it is. Adapt. With a deep squad you have some players in the second team, you're going to play 11 and everybody has to do their best. That is what it is. I play nine games but many other contenders, our opponents, play nine games too.

"So it's not because we play more games than the others. It's the same. So why would we complain? Nothing. Play every day, try to be there and play the game."

Asked if Aguero could be available to face Watford, Guardiola added: "I'm not quite sure. We'll see tomorrow [Sunday].

"That's why I said before, day by day we'll see. I speak to the doctors every day they make the report to me the briefing and say he's ready or not ready and we decide."

Guardiola said at a recent event he feels he is a better manager than ever, but he rejected the suggestion this means his City team are stronger than his previous sides at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

"Big words my friend. Big words. Were you in Barcelona sometimes? No. It doesn't matter," Guardiola said. "I'm not here to say whether this is a better side than Bayern Munich or Barcelona. That is no sense.

"It is another reality how the people attack our team, it's completely different here for the way they play. I didn't go to Bayern Munich to overcome. It was a pleasure to be in Barcelona, an incredible pleasure to be in Munich, no I am enjoying like you cannot image here.

"I will judge my career when I'm finished, how happy I was in all the places. After that the way we played that people like. We'll improve. No regrets with that."

Leroy Sane illuminated Manchester City's 3-1 win over Bournemouth with a performance that left Pep Guardiola wondering what the Germany winger had for his lunch.

Sane's darting run in behind the Cherries defence led to Bernardo Silva's opener and his cross gave compatriot Ilkay Gundogan a simple finish to seal the points 11 minutes from time.

"I don't know today how Leroy ate but maybe it will be on the menu for the next games for everybody," a delighted Guardiola joked afterwards.

The lavishly gifted 22-year-old has not been an automatic starter for City this season, following the arrival of club-record signing Riyad Mahrez.

But a slow start to the campaign appeared to have been banished as Sane followed up last weekend's brace at West Ham with another electric display.

"If he is going to complain in the future for his manager [agent] why he doesn't play, I will send him this video of today," Guardiola said, before calling on the former Schalke youngster to hit greater levels of consistency.

"If he plays in that way he is going to play. You have to challenge him with Riyad, with Raheem [Sterling], Kevin De Bruyne is coming back [from injury]. With everybody.

"I demand the best of all of them. If you want to be a competitor in all competitions, there is no other option.

"He was incredible – offensively, defensively, creating chances, positive in the mind, reactions all there. Sometimes it is not there.

"I've said before, we never doubt Leroy but he is young. To sometimes be up and down, that is normal.

"Maybe in the future he will realise how important it is and be more consistent. Like Fernandinho, David [Silva], Bernardo Silva – every time it's eight or nine. That is what I'm looking for from him."

One City attacker struggling to hit top gear is Gabriel Jesus, who failed to provide a significant goal threat in Sergio Aguero's absence.

Nevertheless, the Brazil striker's tireless work-rate against Bournemouth won his manager's approval.

"I know the strikers, always we judge for the goals they do," Guardiola added.

"We needed to make movements and runs in behind and today he made thousands, millions.

"The actions from the byline, in many, many circumstances he helped us a lot and was so important. He will be so important next Tuesday [against Watford]."

Gabriel Jesus expects Manchester United to be made of sterner stuff than recent opponents as Manchester City head into Sunday's derby showdown in rampant form.

Gabriel Jesus netted a hat-trick as Manchester City powered to a 6-0 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk but they will have to wait to book their place in the last 16 after Hoffenheim netted a late equaliser at Lyon in Group F's other fixture.

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