Pep Guardiola praised Manchester City’s increasing ability to win in “Fergie time” after West Ham United were beaten by David Silva’s 83rd-minute strike, to make it three successive matches his side have served up a late, late show in the manner of Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The victory was a 13th straight league win, to equal the all-time single‑season top-flight record most recently achieved by Arsenal in 2001-02- and Chelsea last term as Guardiola’s side maintained an eight-point lead over United.
After Huddersfield Town and Southampton were beaten in City’s previous two games thanks to Raheem Sterling’s strikes, the City manager was asked if his side now have their own version of “Fergie time”.
Guardiola said: “If we can take something about the Fergie time, it is welcome, a pleasure. I heard about the Fergie time. 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. The opponent doesn’t want to play. They just want to defend. I understand. I am not judging but it is difficult. Always they have 10 players behind the ball.
Hopefully in the future opponents can want to play. Today I learned a bit like a manager to tackle it different. We don’t normally play with two strikers and two wingers but we did so it is a lesson.” City had fallen behind to Angelo Ogbonna’s header 60 seconds before the break but Nicolás Otamendi equalised on 57 minutes before Silva struck.
While City next play United at Old Trafford in Sunday’s 175th Manchester derby, West Ham’s defeat means David Moyes has claimed only one point from his four matches in charge. Yet despite his team being second bottom on 10 points, three adrift of the last safe spot, he is not contemplating relegation. “I always think we will get away. I don’t think we will be in trouble,” Moyes said. “I think we have a good team, good players. I thought the effort and energy of the players will give us a real chance.
“I really want the football to be attacking but we are playing against a team that we can hardly get the ball so what are you going to do? There will be a lot of teams will find it a struggle to get the ball off them,” he said.