Shades of ‘Fergie time’ about Manchester City’s late winner

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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”.

‘Behind the ball’

“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,” replied Guardiola.

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.

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“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.”

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