Premier League: lucky 13 for Man City as they win late again

David Silva strikes as Pep Guardiola’s side maintain eight-point lead over United

David Silva Manchester City Premier League
David Silva scores Manchester City’s winner against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium 
(Image credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

For the third time in a week, Manchester City left it late again but David Silva’s goal on 83 minutes against West Ham earned them another three points, keeping them eight clear of second-place Manchester United.

The rivals meet at Old Trafford on Sunday (4.30pm) in what promises to be a rip-roaring occasion. United is on a roll after putting four past Watford last week and thumping Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s men will fancy their chances against their neighbours, despite City’s 13th straight league win, because as Huddersfield did last Sunday and Southampton in midweek, the Hammers rattled the league leaders. They took the lead at the Etihad on the stroke of half-time through Angelo Ogbonna, refusing to lie down despite Nicolas Otamendi’s equaliser and Silva’s deft finish from Kevin de Bruyne’s wonderful cross.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Indeed, the Londoners should have levelled in stoppage time when the excellent Marko Arnautovic skinned Eliaquim Mangala on the right flank and delivered a delicious cross only for Diafra Sakho to blast it wide from in front of the City goal.

See more

“It was similar to the last few games. In the second half I thought we would score,” said City manager Pep Guardiola. “They played 10 players inside the box, it was almost impossible. It’s a big victory. It showed what we are.”

City and United have Champions League matches this week – against Shakhtar and CSKA Moscow respectively – but Mourinho and Guardiola both know that the outcome of next Sunday’s derby will have a significant bearing on the title race.

“Before [then] we have to travel to Ukraine and after think about Old Trafford,” said Guardiola. “We are going to try to be who we are.”

No doubt there’ll be a similar message from Mourinho but United will have to be who they are against City without Paul Pogba. The Frenchman was shown a straight red card by referee Andre Marriner against Arsenal for a studs-up challenge on Hector Bellerin. He will miss the City encounter as well as the games against Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion.

Although Pogba’s absence will be a blow for Mourinho, he’ll be purring over the form of David De Gea, whose 14 saves against Arsenal equalled the Premier League record for a goalkeeper.

See more

Several of them were sensational, denying the Gunners at least a point. Mourinho described De Gea as “the best goalkeeper” in the world, adding: “Big matches you need goalkeepers to be there for you when the team needs. But I think the players’ effort was magnificent, the intelligence to play tactically according to the moments of the game.”

Former United defender turned TV pundit Gary Neville believes City’s recent performances will give his old club a “ray of hope” ahead of Sunday’s clash.

“There will be better teams than Huddersfield, Southampton and West Ham, yet all came close,” he told Sky Sports. “All three played a certain way and got joy with certain things – counter-attack has been a problem for City this week, set-pieces and corners have been a problem this week, deep and compact defences have also been a problem this week in terms of breaking them down.”

See more

Premier League results

  • Chelsea 3 Newcastle United 1
  • Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Liverpool 5
  • Everton 2 Huddersfield Town 0
  • Leicester City 1 Burnley 0
  • Stoke City 2 Swansea City 1
  • Watford 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1
  • West Bromwich Albion 0 Crystal Palace 0
  • Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3
  • AFC Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1
  • Manchester City 2 West Ham United 1

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.