Huddersfield 1 Man City 2: Pep Guardiola was delighted after watching his Manchester City side beat Huddersfield 2-1 to extend their winning streak to 18 games but he knows the run will not last forever.
Raheem Sterling claimed a late winner as City came from behind to restore their eight-point Premier League lead after a Sergio Aguero penalty had cancelled out Nicolas Otamendi’s first-half own goal.
City have now won their last 11 Premier League matches and 18 in all competitions, but with a tough festive schedule on the horizon, Guardiola expects the winning run to come to an end at some stage.
But the former Barcelona boss was delighted with his side’s response to falling behind against the Terriers.
He said: “If you want to win the title you can not expect easy games, so we have to live these kinds of situations and we spoke about at half-time how we are going to react in that situation. I am so happy for the victory today.
“We are going to lose. That is going to happen — definitely. Today was so close — it’s going to happen.
“When you play every few days, when you see the scheduling — December, January — we go to Donetsk to play in the Champions League. It’s impossible. The 18 games in a row is amazing and we have 11 in the Premier League in a row so that’s good. We have a good moment and with the spirit we can go further.”
The game kicked off amid a fevered atmosphere and the passionate home support — much as it did for last month’s unexpected defeat of Manchester United — energised the Terriers as they blunted City’s attack.
Aguero did put the ball in the net early but his effort was ruled out for offside and Town had the first clear-cut chance when Tommy Smith cut inside and fired over.
It was some time before City pieced together a move that stretched the home defence but Aguero scuffed wide.
City turned up the heat with Otamendi firing over and Aguero forcing Jonas Lossl to save before Sterling shot wide on the rebound.
It was not one-way traffic, however, with Mathias Zanka diverting wide after an Aaron Mooy cross reached him at the back post and Tom Ince getting behind the defence to win a corner.
Another corner followed after Vincent Kompany headed dangerously close to his own goal and this time it proved critical as Ince’s set-piece was met by Schindler and deflected in off Otamendi.
The goal came in first-half stoppage time and the lead lasted little longer than the length of the break.
Soon after the restart Sterling appealed for penalties after challenges by Lossl and Scott Malone. The second was given and Aguero stroked into the bottom corner.
City almost claimed the lead when Sane struck the bar with a curling free-kick but the game then became scrappy for a spell.
Huddersfield were incensed after Van la Parra went down following a challenge by Kyle Walker and referee Craig Pawson needed to speak to home manager David Wagner.
Fernandinho was booked for diving on the edge of the area as Van la Parra swung his leg in his direction.
The final 20 minutes were played out almost entirely in the Huddersfield half as City pushed for a winner.
The breakthrough finally came as sub Gabriel Jesus’ shot was blocked by Lossl, hit Sterling and fortuitously bounced in.
Van la Parra and Sane then came together after the full-time whistle, with van La Parra red-carded and Sane cautioned.
Huddersfield boss David Wagner said: “Defeat is defeat. Of course we were a little bit unlucky because we conceded the penalty very early after half-time and I think the second goal was a little bit unlucky as well.
“You have to have the tight situation in your favour, if you like, to be successful against a team like Man City.”
Lossl, Smith, Jorgensen, Schindler, Malone (Lowe 74), Ince (Quaner 82), Williams, Hogg (Mounie 86), Mooy, van La Parra, Depoitre.
Ederson, Walker, Kompany (Gabriel Jesus 80), Otamendi, Delph, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva (Mangala 89), Sterling, Aguero (Gundogan 86), Sane.
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