‘Unstoppable’: Guardiola racks up remarkable personal milestones as Man City win TWENTIETH game in a row

Manchester City were indebted to defensive duo John Stones and Ruben Dias as they edged past West Ham 2-1 to rack up a record-extending 20th straight victory, in a game which also saw Pep Guardiola reach a personal milestone.

City were made to work hard by the high-flying Hammers at the Etihad, seeing Dias’ 30th-minute opener cancelled out by an equalizer from Michail Antonio just before the break.

It was Stones who rescued the three points as he swept home a cut-back from Riyad Mahrez with just over 20 minutes to play.

City were tested by David Moyes’ visitors, who have been the surprise package in the Premier League this season, finding themselves in the Champions League places at the start of the weekend.

City had welcomed back Sergio Aguero to the starting XI after his recovery from the lingering effects of Covid-19, but in the end it was the team’s central defensive duo – so superb this season – who did the damage at the opposite end of the pitch.

Dias, 23, stole behind the West Ham lines to head home a sublime assist from Kevin de Bruyne, and even though Antonio leveled when he poked home Jessie Lingard’s shot from close range, Stones earned the hosts a win with a fine finish from a Mahrez assist.

The hard-fought win wasn’t bestowed with some of the free-flowing football characteristic of City for much of this season, but it did extend their record run of wins for an English top-flight club across all competitions to 20.

That left fans raving that Guardiola’s men look “unstoppable” as they chase titles on four fronts.

Guardiola asserted afterwards that City were somewhat fortunate to break down Moyes’ obdurate, much-improved team, saying: “We were lucky to get all three points. The mathematics matter at the end of the season.”

Those mathematics look rosy for City as they stand 13 points clear at the top of the table before second-placed Manchester United play their game in hand against Chelsea on Sunday.

It was also a day of personal milestones for Guardiola as he picked up a 200th victory in 273 games at City – the fewest games needed by a manager of an English top-flight side to reach that tally in all competitions.

It was also 500 wins for the Spaniard at top-flight clubs in his career.

City next play Wolves at home on Tuesday, before hosting local rivals United next Sunday.

City are chasing a third Premier League title in five seasons under Guardiola, and also remain in contention in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup – and in the latter competition will meet Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in the final in April. 

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