Pep Guardiola admitted his table-topping Manchester City side would not have long to enjoy their win over Burnley as a challenging run of fixtures looms.
First-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling secured a 2-0 win which was City’s 13th in a row in all competitions, restoring their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League table – and they still have a game in hand on rivals Manchester United.
It was also a sixth Premier League clean sheet in a row but with the exception of Aston Villa, all of those came against sides in the lower half of the table.
City travel to Anfield on Sunday to face defending champions Liverpool, with fixtures against Tottenham, Arsenal, high-flying West Ham and the return of the Champions League on the agenda for February, plus a match away to Everton still to be rearranged.
“For now we enjoy this game, and tomorrow we will start to think about the next game,” Guardiola said.
“It is for the same (number of) points. Of course (Liverpool) are a contender at the end to be champions, but it is for three points like today.
“We have won six games in a row against teams in lower positions in the table. We know exactly how tough it was to win with many of these clubs. We had to do our best.
“Now come different teams, different types of play. Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton, West Ham, the Champions League, United. It’s another tough group of games.
“Today we enjoy this game and then tomorrow we think about Liverpool.”
It was an eighth straight win for City against Burnley, who had not beaten the visitors since recording a 1-0 win at Turf Moor in March 2015.
Any chance of that changing diminished almost immediately as City took the lead inside three minutes, with Jesus nodding home after Nick Pope could only parry Bernardo Silva’s shot.
It was a second consecutive game with a goal for the Brazilian, and his third in four after a spell in which he scored just once in 12 appearances.
“Gabi, we have no doubts about him,” Guardiola said. “It is a long time we are together. All strikers need to score goals definitely. In the last game he scored and gave us three points and today he started it.
“He played really well. We are delighted with Gabi all the time. We need his goals, he knows it, but his contribution in many aspects is fantastic.”
Burnley never looked like getting back into the match having fallen behind so soon, but Sean Dyche had few complaints about his side’s application.
“I think we did OK overall, but you can’t start like we did,” he said. “It was a poor goal for many reasons. Not getting out to make a tackle, getting done inside with a good turn from their player, and then a parry that goes in the box and they finish that.
“You don’t want to start like that against sides like this but we did reasonably well with our shape and organisation.
“Their second goal is a good goal from their point of view, we just don’t react quickly enough in the box but that’s not like us so I won’t overthink that.”