Huddersfield 1 City 2
Raheem Sterling bailed Manchester City out of a tight one again by scoring his 12th goal of the season. And we’re not even into December!
After scoring the winners against Bournemouth, West Brom, Feyenoord and rescuing the draw against Everton, today he unlocked the door of a massive ugly bus parked by David Wagner as City recorded their 26th game unbeaten in all competitions and their 11th successive away win.
Sterling won a second half penalty for The Blues which allowed Sergio Aguero to do his best Yaya impersonation from the resultant spot-kick – cancelling out Otamendi‘s unfortunate own goal for Huddersfield in the first half – scored against the run of play.
285 successful passes in that first half to Huddersfield’s 16 tells its own story.
With the clock ticking down, Guardiola then subbed off Vincent Kompany for Gabriel de Jesus in an audacious bit of game management and de Jesus’s presence allowed City to get that desperately-needed break in the box. Before that there was no space at all.
As Sam Lee from Goal.com put it:
“The Terriers … starving De Bruyne of space and letting City’s wingers have it out wide, but giving them no angles to do anything with it. Many teams will replicate this approach in the coming months but few will do it as well as David Wagner’s men.”
However as one City fan on Twitter put it: “Winning 2-1 like that, in that manner, is ten times more valuable to the team’s self belief than a 4-0 stroll.”
Sterling, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live:
Was it a clear penalty?
“Yes I should have had two but credit to the referee, he’s seen the second one and awarded it.”
Did you always believe the winner would come?
“Always. From when we got the equaliser from the penalty. I always had belief, from what I’ve seen this season from the boys, the work rate, the mentality. We’ve had to try and be killers and I think we showed that in the second half.”
Guardiola, speaking to Match of the Day:
“The Premier League is so tough, now winter has come, we knew they were so aggressive so strong, but we are so happy for the way we won.
“We spoke at half-time about how to react, we had enough chances to score and the first time Huddersfield had a chance they scored. We spoke about not giving up, to keep going.
“It was a brilliant move to win the penalty.
“It is impossible to win every game easily, this league is so tough. The guys competed amazingly, which is why we won.”
Huddersfield boss David Wagner:
“You never like a defeat, but our performance was good. The players left everything on the grass against a top-class Manchester City side. You need a bit of luck against the best sides and I thought we were a bit unlucky for the second goal.
City are the first Premier League team to have reached 37 points after 13 games of a season – the highest by any club at this stage in Premier League history.
As Pulis or Allardyce might say, just three points from safety now!