Belfast Telegraph

Pep clocks on to the legend of 'Fergie time' as Manchester City soar

Man City 2 West Ham Utd 1

By Rory Dollard

Pep Guardiola would be delighted to be crowned the new king of 'Fergie time' after Manchester City grabbed yet another late winner against West Ham.

City equalled the Premier League record of 13 consecutive victories with a 2-1 success at the Etihad Stadium and have a chance to break new ground against their rivals at Old Trafford on Sunday.

There have been romps and thrashings along the way but their past four matches have all been settled in the final 10 minutes, with David Silva's 83rd-minute finish against the Hammers a relatively early decider by recent standards.

And Guardiola is more than happy to take a reputation once owned by Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson, whose sides were renowned for late goals.

"I heard about the Fergie time, I was not here (in England) in that period but of course you have to have that," said Guardiola, whose table-toppers reclaimed their eight-point lead over United.

"What we have shown in the last games is we never give up. If we can take something about the Fergie Time, it is welcome, a pleasure."

There was a brief but telling nod to United midfielder Paul Pogba too, following the Frenchman's comments about hoping for City players to fall injured before next week's Manchester derby.

Pogba, of course, is the one who misses out after his red card against Arsenal - but Guardiola took the high road in response.

"I would like that Paul could play against us. I like to face the team with the best players possible," he said. "I think it was an expression, I'm pretty sure he doesn't want our players to get injured."

City's Fabian Delph admitted recording a record 14th win at Old Trafford is a particularly appealing prospect. "It would be nice," he said. "It's a derby, we want to win that game. Hopefully we can get the three points."

Hammers boss David Moyes has now overseen three defeats and a draw since taking over from Slaven Bilic, but insists things will soon be looking up.

His team sit 19th, with Chelsea and Arsenal their next opponents, but the Scot is refusing the repeat the overly pessimistic tone he struck at Sunderland.

"I always think we will get away. I don't think we will be in trouble," he said. "I think we have a good team, good players. I thought this performance gives us hope it can be done."

Man City: Emerson, Walker, Otamendi, Mangala, Danilo (Jesus, 46 mins), D Silva, Delph, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero (Fernandinho, 85 mins), Sane (B Silva, 90 mins). Unused subs: Bravo, Kompany, Gundogan, Toure.

West Ham: Adrian, Zabaleta, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaka, Obiang, Kouyate (Sakho, 42 mins), Fernandes, Lanzini (Arnautovic, 68 mins), Antonio (Ayew, 88 mins). Unused subs: Trott, Martinez, Quina, Johnson.

Man of the match: Nicolas Otamendi

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Mike Dean

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