Sergio Aguero stepped off the bench to secure a 1-0 win for Manchester City after Dean Henderson had threatened to frustrate the Premier League champions at Bramall Lane.
Goalkeeper Henderson’s stellar showing was highlighted by a superb stop from Gabriel Jesus’ first-half penalty, with Raheem Sterling also finding the former Manchester United man in inspired form.
It needed the introduction of Aguero, who surpassed 250 goals for City in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last time out, to get the job done for Pep Guardiola’s side, with Kevin De Bruyne once again supplying the ammunition.
Further comfort for the visitors came in seeing the return of Aymeric Laporte to the starting line-up for the first time since August following a knee injury, his presence contributing to a clean sheet that represents somewhat of a rarity for City these days.
The result puts City 13 points behind champions-elect Liverpool, who have two games in hand.
Sheffield carved their visitors open early on but Billy Sharp failed to pick out a team-mate after being set free by Oli McBurnie’s pass.