Manchester City moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League as David Silva’s superb late strike capped a dramatic 2-1 victory over West Ham on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s side maintained their recent habit of finding dramatic, late winning goals, with Silva netting seven minutes from full-time at Eastlands to give City a record-equalling 13th successive Premier League victory.
Silva produced his impressive volley after Nicolas Otamendi struck in the second half to cancel out a first ever league goal from Hammers defender Angelo Ogbonna just before the interval.
City have drawn level with Chelsea in 2016-17 and Arsenal in 2001-02 for the most consecutive victories in a single season in Premier League history.
The all-time record for successive victories is Arsenal’s 14, achieved between February and August 2002.
City also set a club record with a 20th straight win in all competitions, giving them the perfect preparation for next weekend’s summit meeting with second-placed Manchester United at Old Trafford.
West Ham are second bottom of the table after failing to win for the eighth consecutive league game.
The visitors, looking for their first win under new manager David Moyes, looked surprisingly untroubled, in the first half at least, and arguably created the better chances of the opening 45 minutes.
That was certainly underlined a minute before the interval when Ogbonna headed his side into an unexpected lead that exposed some poor play in City’s defence.
Aaron Cresswell exchanged a short corner with Manuel Lanzini and crossed for the Italian, who beat Otamendi to the ball and steered a well-aimed header into the corner.
City were stunned but West Ham had enjoyed the better chances of the first half, while surrendering possession to the hosts.
The best of three decent openings fell to Lanzini, in the 38th minute, after a rare mistake by Silva who gifted the ball to the West Ham man in midfield.
The attack ended with City keeper Ederson turning his shot around the post, somewhat unconvincingly, as the visitors coped with City’s impressive arsenal of attacking talent.
– Immediate improvement –
City were curiously off the electrifying pace they have set so far this season.
The only moment that really troubled West Ham reserve keeper Adrian — selected because City loanee Joe Hart was unable to play — came from Silva’s deflected 25th-minute shot which he did well to tip over his bar.
Guardiola had left Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho out of his starting line-up, to avoid either collecting a yellow card which would earn them a suspension and a ban for the upcoming Manchester derby.
It had looked a potentially costly decision but, at the interval, the City manager brought on Gabriel Jesus and saw an immediate improvement.
A foul by Declan Rice on Fabian Delph presented Kevin De Bruyne with a free-kick on the edge of the area and his superb curling strike was parried away, equally impressively, by the diving Adrian on 55 minutes.
Two minutes later, City were level.
Raheem Sterling’s deft touch sent Jesus darting to the right-hand by-line from where his low cross was turned in from close range by central defender Otamendi.
They could have been in front on 61 minutes when Leroy Sane’s crisp shot drew another diving save out of the West Ham keeper.
It was now one-way traffic with Sane’s dribbling run and shot bringing yet another acrobatic parry out of Adrian before Sane and De Bruyne both tried shots from the edge of the area.
Soon, Adrian was required to keep out a shot from Jesus with the rebound falling invitingly to Sterling who, uncharacteristically, miskicked from what looked a promising position.
Silva struck in the 83rd minute with a brilliant finish, diving to meet De Bruyne’s cross at full stretch and steer the ball in from five yards, past the wrong-footed goalkeeper.
Manchester City Manager, Pep Guardiola has challenged the England forward, Raheem Sterling to stay focused after showing an impressive performance against Steaua Bucuresti on Tuesday.
Guardiola was full of praise for the Manchester City forward at the first leg of UEFA Champions League play-offs, but insists he can improve even further.
“Until now, Raheem is playing really good but he’s only 21-years-old so he has to learn a lot, Guardiola told ESPN.
“The best advice is to keep calm and focus on his training, his body and his personal life. Then when that happens he has a lot of quality — he’s fast and has good work ethic.
“He can go byline or inside. When he comes inside to play he has the quality to link up with his teammates. He’s a fantastic player and that’s why I think (Director of Football) Txiki (Begiristain) and the club were so clever last summer to buy him.”
The team from the blue half of Manchester have all, but secured their place in the Champions League group stage with an emphatic 5-0 win in Romania.
After missing two penalties, Argentine striker, Sergio Aguero scored a hat trick while Spanish Duo, David Silva and Nolito scored once in a dominant performance.
Manchester United and their rival, Manchester City are concentrating on their Champions League games on Wednesday night despite the duo’s derby this Sunday.
The Red Devils manager, Louis Van Gaal, said he would be satisfy with a point from a tricky away fixture against CSKA Moscow, especially after the team decided to do their pre-match training session at home in Manchester.
United striker, Wayne Rooney says he is hoping for a good result and any goals to his name would just be a bonus.
PSV, Eindhoven and Wolfsburg complete Group B where all four teams have three points from two games.
In the meantime, Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, says he is wary of a tough Sevilla side, as they prepare without star duo David Silva and Sergio Aguero.
Pellegrini’s men host their Spanish opponents in the Champions League Group D clash and go into the game on the back of their comfortable 5-1 English Premier League victory over Bournemouth.
The manager, who had just 16 senior players in training, had also brought in youngster, Bersant Celina to the session, as he assesses his squad’s casualty list.
Spain midfielder, David Silva, has signed a new five-year deal with Premier League champions, Manchester City.
Silva becomes the third player to agree new terms in recent months after Samir Nasri and Aleksandar Kolarov committed their futures to Manuel Pellegrini’s side and Sergio Aguero and captain, Vincent Kompany, are expected to be next.
The 28-year-old Spaniard, who joined City for £24m from Valencia in July 2010, said that the decision to sign a new deal was easy as the Etihad had become his second home.
“From the moment I joined the club four years ago, it has felt like a second home to me,” said Silva, who has 83 caps for Spain.
“On and off the pitch, I feel incredibly content and fulfilled, so why wouldn’t I stay and keep winning trophies with a fantastic team?
“Over the last four years, we have achieved so much together, establishing City as a dominating force in England.
“Now, when I look around this dressing room, I can see no reason why we won’t become one of the top teams in the world.
“It was a straightforward decision to extend my stay here and spend my peak years at Manchester City, a club with unbelievable fans who have always supported me,” Silva told City’s website.
David Silva scored eight goals in 40 appearances as he helped City to the title last season, when the club also claimed the Capital One Cup.
He was part of the team that won the Premier League crown in 2011-12, and also triumphed in the FA Cup with City in 2010-11 at the end of his first campaign in English football.
The much talked about local derby between the two Manchester clubs; Manchester City and Manchester United ended minutes ago with Manchester City smiling as victors as Manchester United sleepily lost to their arch rivals putting City back on top.
By this, the English Premier League title race which is already nosing towards the end of the season might be claimed by Manchester city as they are now in control of the table, occupying the number one spot with 83 points, same point shared with United but a goal difference of 8 points and the turnaround of events boiled down to the great move made by Vincent Kompany and it sure made the difference tonight.
A David Silva’s corner sets Vincent Kompany to rise higher above all other players with so much strength mustered to head the ball into the right direction to the astonishment of United defenders towards the end of the first half.
A definitely bewildered United after the goal by Kompany had from the beginning of the match approached the derby with a defensive mind set in a bid to frustrate Manchester City who played host to the Red Devils at Etihad Stadium.
Going into the second half United came out of their shells but it was too late as Manchester City stood grounds so hard not to concede or get complacent bearing in mind the consequence of a draw or lose on home ground to United with two games remaining for the season to end and a winner of the league to be crowned.
It would be recalled Manchester City already lost hope over the EPL title thereby conceding the title to Manchester United as he declared them most favourite the season to lift the title because according to him would have two easy games after playing Etihad Stadium while his own club will embark on two tough games after playing host to United.
However, this derby which ended in favour of Manchester City can be capped a remarkable comeback for the Manchester club after falling at Emirates Stadium to Arsenal and the defeat left them eight points behind their fierce local foe at the top of the table.
A tough and gripping two weeks of the English Premier League is being expected because nothing right now can be predictable as both teams go into their last two games of the season to decide who will be crowned.