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.
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.
The best of three decent openings fell to Manuel 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.
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.
City were level after 57 minutes. 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.
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.