Silva the saviour! ... Spaniard strikes late to keep City charging

December 04, 2017
Manchester City's David Silva scoring a late goal against West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium last weekend. Man City won 2-1.
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MANCHESTER, England (AP):

Maybe they'll start calling it "Pep Time." For the third time in a week, Manchester City left it late to secure a 2-1 victory in the Premier League and set a record-equalling winning run stretching back to Aug. 26.

This time, it was David Silva coming to the rescue.

Taking over Raheem Sterling's role as City's last-gasp match-winner, Silva prodded home a volley from Kevin De Bruyne's cross in the 83rd minute to end the stubborn resistance of West Ham at Etihad Stadium yesterday.

Late goals are becoming a habit for City. In the past 12 days, Sterling has scored an 88th-minute winner against Feyenoord in the Champions League and then goals in the 84th minute and the sixth minute of injury time in victories over Huddersfield and Southampton, respectively, in the league.

There was a certain inevitability about City's winner against West Ham, just like there was when Manchester United scored so many match-clinching goals in the final minutes of Alex Ferguson's long tenure as manager. It's how the phrase "Fergie Time" was spawned.

"I heard about the 'Fergie Time,'" City manager Pep Guardiola said. "I was not here in that period, but of course you have to have that. What we show in the last games is we never give up.

"If we can take something about the 'Fergie Time,' it is welcome. A pleasure."

There's just no stopping City, although opponents are getting closer and closer.

This was a 13th straight win in the Premier League, matching a record in a single season set previously by Chelsea (2016-17) and Arsenal (2001-02). The next milestone is 14 straight wins, which was achieved by Arsenal in 2002 but across two seasons.

The team that can stop City from matching the record is their neighbour, United. The Manchester derby is up next for City on Sunday and there are eight points separating the two rivals at the top.

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