Guardiola proud of Man City after record 15th consecutive win

By Sports Desk February 10, 2021

Pep Guardiola expressed his pride after Manchester City made history with a 3-1 victory over Swansea City to cruise into the FA Cup quarter-finals

The imperious Premier League leaders outclassed the Championship promotion hopefuls at the Liberty Stadium, where they eased to a 15th consecutive win – a record for an English top-flight club.

City's latest dominant victory saw them better runs of 14 in a row set by Preston and North End in 1891-92 and Arsenal in 1987, keeping them in contention for to win silverware on four fronts.

Kyle Walker opened the scoring in the first half before Raheem Sterling slotted in his 12th goal of the season early in the second half and Gabriel Jesus finished brilliantly a few minutes later.

Morgan Whittaker pulled a goal back with a sweet left-footed strike after City's Spain midfielder Rodri limped off with an injury, which Guardiola is hopeful is not serious.

The City boss was full of praise for his players after the juggernaut rolled on in Wales.

Asked about setting the record, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said: "It is a message for ourselves. We came to win, that was the most important thing.

"We cannot deny how pleased and how proud we are to break this record from a long time ago. Records are there to be broken.

"It is not easy in the modern era to do 15 games in a row. We are happy for our club."

Guardiola added: "I had a feeling that they would create chances, they were dangerous up front. They were so aggressive but we controlled the game and we created a lot of chances but could not convert."

The Spaniard did not appear too concerned about Rodri's injury and revealed Ruben Dias was absent due to illness, while Fernandinho did not feature as he has been troubled by a quad niggle.

Guardiola will be hoping they will recover in time for a Premier League encounter with Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

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    Pep Guardiola claimed Bernardo Silva is "on another level" after the Manchester City midfielder helped his boss collect a 150th Premier League win on Wednesday.

    Guardiola became just the fourth manager to the 150-win mark in the English top flight after defeating Aston Villa 2-1, achieving the milestone in 204 games to surpass Alex Ferguson's record of 247 matches.

    Ruben Dias proved the unlikely scorer of City's first before Silva netted his fourth goal in seven league games, as many as he had in his previous 55 in the competition.

    Ollie Watkins' fifth goal in three outings against the reigning champions halved the deficit, but City comfortably held on for another win to remain a point behind leaders Chelsea.

    Guardiola's post-match focus was on Silva, who he feels is a class above in the Premier League at the minute.

    "He scored a fantastic goal," Guardiola told Amazon Prime Video. "We depend on him, when a player has this quality it depends on them. He is a player on another level."

    Guardiola reiterated the same sentiments to reporters at the post-match news conference: "He's the best. He was the best when we got 98 points three seasons ago and he's the same now."

    City face a gruelling December schedule, in which they play seven times before the end of the month as they search for domestic and European glory.

    But Guardiola insisted all his side can do us front up the challenge as he praised the visitors' performance at Villa Park.

    "No words," he continued on City's showing. "The game we played was fantastic. What a team against Aston Villa.  

    "A difficult game, we knew it, with the new manager, we understand why they won two in a row. The way we reacted to conceding the goal... We played really well.

    Asked about December's fixtures and a potential title challenge, he added: "Do we have another alternative? No. So we're going to face the challenge.

    "You see the Liverpool machine scoring goals and the consistency from Chelsea. What is important is being there.

    "We had an incredibly tough first part of the league with tough games away and we are only one point off."

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    Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva put the visitors into the ascendancy with first-half strikes as City claimed their 11th win in 12 meetings with Villa.

    Ollie Watkins halved the deficit after the interval prior to the introduction of Grealish, who returned to Villa Park for the first time since joining Pep Guardiola's side for a British record £100million fee.

    City remain a point behind leaders Chelsea, who triumphed 2-1 in their away fixture at Watford on Wednesday.

    Rodri stung Emiliano Martinez's hands as City dominated the opening stages before Leon Bailey saw a seemingly goal-bound effort blocked at the other end.

    Dias then proved the unlikely first goalscorer with a deflected left-footed effort into the bottom-right corner following Raheem Sterling's cutback to the edge of the area.

    City doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Gabriel Jesus raced away on the counter and clipped across for Silva, who converted with an expert first-time volley.

    Watkins pegged Guardiola's team back as he hooked a low volley just inside the right-hand post from Douglas Luiz's corner before Ezri Konsa poked narrowly wide amid claims for a penalty for a Nathan Ake foul.

    Jesus looked to add a third but miscued a half-volley well over, while Ederson was required to deny Carney Chukwuemeka in excellent fashion as City held on for another victory.

    What does it mean? City keep in pursuit of Chelsea

    City have now won 13 of their past 15 Premier League meetings against Villa and Guardiola's side remain a point behind Chelsea and one ahead of third-placed Liverpool after 14 games.

    Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard – who was looking to become the first Villa boss to win all three of his opening games – sees his side left in 13th after being outclassed by the reigning champions.

    Sterling and Silva shine

    Silva has been in fine form for City in recent weeks, scoring four times in his past seven leagues appearances, as many as he had in his previous 55 in the competition.

    But fellow attacker Sterling also shone as he laid on a joint-high five key passes – one of those the assist for Dias' opener – in a classy creative showing.

    City forward search remains prominent

    City were in the market for Harry Kane as Guardiola searched for a striker in the last transfer window.

    Jesus remains the sole nominal striker and the Brazil international failed to fire as only one of his game-high six attempts found the target and he produced a woeful second-half miss from Silva's cross.

    What's next?

    City travel to Watford on Saturday, while Villa host Leicester City the following day.

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    Paris Saint-Germain saw their 10-match winning home run in Ligue 1 halted as they were held to a goalless draw by Nice at Parc des Princes.

    The runaway leaders in the French top flight had found the net three times in each of their past three league games, but drew a blank on Wednesday.

    Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe went closest to scoring for Mauricio Pochettino's side, who proved wasteful in front of goal.

    Despite 20 shots on goal, the hosts were unable to break down Nice, who held out for their first clean sheet in this fixture in 18 attempts.

    Nice were seeking only a second win over PSG in 17 matches and Kasper Dolberg tested Gianluigi Donnarumma from long distance early on, while Presnel Kimpembe produced a wonderful last-ditch intervention to deny Andy Delort.

    It then took brilliant reflexes by Donnarumma to keep out Delort's header from point-blank range just after the half-hour mark.

    At the other end, Lionel Messi shot straight at Walter Benitez, while Achraf Hakimi blazed a good opportunity wide when the ball broke kindly for him just before half-time.

    Di Maria was played in behind the defence six minutes after the break, but Benitez was out quickly to block him.

    Dolberg then saw a glorious opportunity go begging in the 59th minute, as he somehow headed onto the post from two yards out with the goal gaping.

    A clever ball by Messi released Mbappe at the other end, but the France international could only shoot wide with just the goalkeeper to beat.

    PSG pressed for a dramatic winner as the clock ticked down, but were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

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