Silva winner over West Ham keeps Manchester City on top

Manchester City extended its Premier League winning run to 13 matches as David Silva celebrated a new contract with the decisive goal.

Manchester City playmaker David Silva's strike in the 83rd minute ensured his side remained on he top of the Premier League table.   -  Getty Images

David Silva restored Manchester City's eight-point advantage at the top of the Premier League as Pep Guardiola's side recovered from a lethargic first-half showing to see off West Ham 2-1.

The Spain playmaker signed a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium this week and underlined his enduring worth to a club where he sits among the best ever to don the shirt by leaping to volley home Kevin De Bruyne's chipped cross at the back post seven minutes from time.


It means City has pulled level with Arsenal and Chelsea's all-time record of 13 consecutive victories in a single Premier League season but its third straight 2-1 win, following Raheem Sterling's last-gasp heroics against Huddersfield Town and Southampton over the past week, once again showed the side to have dropped off the swashbuckling form that typified its early season play.

This is arguably a concern for Guardiola, who saw centre-back Nicolas Otamendi cancel out Angelo Ogbonna's 44th-minute opener with his third league goal of the season, ahead of a keenly anticipated derby showdown with nearest challenger Manchester United next weekend, although victory at Old Trafford would now see his team take a vice-like grip on the title race.

The Catalan rested Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho on the bench – the influential duo a yellow card away from a Manchester derby suspension – and City offered early encouragement to its opponents by displaying the set-piece vulnerability that has plagued the side of late.

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Cheikhou Kouyate flicked on a seventh-minute corner at the near post for a stretching Michail Antonio to volley over.

Despite hogging possession, City's play lacked the tempo and incisiveness of its best work this season, with Adrian – starting due to Joe Hart's ineligibility against his parent club – making his first save of note when Silva sought the top corner from outside the area.

The Spain playmaker gave the ball away in a dangerous position after 35 minutes and Manuel Lanzini forced Ederson to parry behind unconvincingly at his near post.

It was therefore thoroughly deserved when West Ham led on the stroke of half-time – Aaron Creswell's excellent delivery from a short corner on the right picking out Ogbonna for a powerful header that Ederson could only palm into the corner.

Pep Guardiola took action at the interval, sending on Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus for his countryman and full-back Danilo, laying his side out in an ambitious 4-2-4 shape – Silva and De Bruyne as the midfield two.

It meant Fabian Delph reverting to left-back but some silky footwork from the England international on the edge of the West Ham area drew a foul from the already-booked Declan Rice and Adrian denied De Bruyne's rasping strike.

City kept the ball alive from the rebound and Otamendi remained in the West Ham area to turn home after Jesus darted in from the right.

The host was still struggling to punch regular holes in the West Ham rearguard, Adrian extending himself slightly theatrically to keep out a Leroy Sane long-ranger after the hour.

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Substance surpassed style when the Spanish keeper beat away a Sane strike from closer quarters, the Germany star having burst beyond former City favourite Pablo Zabaleta.

A deflected De Bruyne drive flew into the grasp of a relieved Adrian, who then saved brilliantly from Jesus and Sterling's recent Midas touch in front of goal deserted him on the rebound.

West Ham briefly gained respite on the break as Antonio charged forward and went for glory, although Ederson was equal to the task – paving the way for Silva to live up to his crowd-favourite status.

There was still time for the accident prone Eliaquim Mangala to present Diafra Sakho with a chance to level but the West Ham substitute fired wide and, despite a vast improvement from its midweek thrashing at Everton, West Ham remains second bottom.

Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1: Austin rescues a point for Saints

Charlie Austin's seventh goal in his last 10 Premier League starts rescued a point for Southampton, as it came from behind to draw 1-1 with Bournemouth.


Austin's return to the starting line-up has provided significant dividends for Mauricio Pellegrino, with Sunday's strike his third goal in as many games.

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