Manchester City produced another late show to equal the top flight record of 13 successive wins in a season with a 2-1 win over West Ham on Sunday. City were met by a spirited Hammers performance that belied their lowly league position as Angelo Ogbonna headed the visitors deservedly ahead.
However, City stepped it up in the second period and peppered Adrian’s goal, drawing level through Nicholas Otamendi before finding the winner seven minutes from time through David Silva.
Pep Guardiola’s men are eight points ahead of Manchester United in the title race, with the pair set to meet on Sunday next weekend while West Ham remain in the relegation zone after their worst start to a Premier League season.
There was an air of arrogance about City’s build-up play in the early stages but without the intensity. West Ham, well organised without the ball, sensed the lack of spark in City’s demeanour and created the better chances.
On nine minutes, Cheikhou Kouyate glanced Aaron Cresswell’s in-swinging corner which found Michail Antonio unmarked at the back post but could only divert the ball over the bar.
City continued to struggle and just before the break Cresswell’s delivery from the same flank was guided home by Ogbonna, who beat Otamendi to the first ball and celebrated his first Premier League goal.
A response was required after the restart and Guardiola got it, sparked by the introduction of Gabriel Jesus. His decisive work down the right flank opened up the watertight West Ham back five and his cross was turned home by Otamendi from three yards out.
City then set up camp in West Ham’s half with Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne testing Adrian with some stinging efforts from range. Raheem Sterling missed his kick from four yards out with the goal gaping, but there was a feeling of inevitability about City’s winning goal as the Hammers started to tire.
On 83 minutes, De Bruyne spun a delightful pass towards the far post where Silva was lurking and he cleverly poked home from close range. That wasn’t the end of the drama as Diafra Sakho flashed a shot just wide of the post in injury time but once again, City found a way.