Centre-backs Ruben Dias and John Stones showed their quality at both ends of the pitch as Manchester City saw off West Ham, The Manchester City’s centre-backs discovered a goalscoring touch to help Pep Guardiola’s side to a 20th straight victory courtesy of a 2-1 win over West Ham.
Ruben Dias and John Stones – whose defensive partnership has formed the bedrock of City’s record breaking run – were both on target either side of Michail Antonio’s strike at the Etihad.
Pep Guardiola made seven changes to the side that had beaten Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League in midweek, including handing Sergio Aguero a first league start since the reverse fixture in October.
David Moyes, meanwhile, was without first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski after he picked up an arm injury in training on Friday, so Darren Randolph was drafted in.
What does it mean? More Guardiola milestones with City unstoppable
This was certainly not City at their brilliant best, but Guardiola’s men got the job done with another efficient display.
They let a goal in for the first time at home since a 1-1 draw with West Brom on December 15 before responding like champions to keep the juggernaut rolling on.
Guardiola now has 200 wins as City boss, achieved in the fewest games needed by the manager of an English top-flight side. This victory also took the Spaniard to 500 in charge of a top-flight side in all competitions (Barcelona 179, Bayern Munich 121, City 200).
Stones and Dias deliver at both ends
The strong central defensive pairing of Stones and Dias has laid the foundations for City’s astonishing winning streak.
They were solid at the back as usual and also stepped up at the other end to keep their side marching towards another Premier League title.
Stones has scored four goals in all competitions this year, more than any other Premier League defender, while Dias opened his account in his 32nd appearance for City.
Aguero anonymous in long-awaited start
Striker Aguero was handed his first City start since a 1-1 draw with the Hammers in October.
The club’s all-time leading goalscorer did not have a single shot on a frustrating afternoon as West Ham got men behind the ball in a disciplined display.
Key Opta facts
- Guardiola’s 200 wins with City have come in just 273 games. Previously, Jose Mourinho held the record for the fewest games to reach that landmark by a top-flight boss in England, achieving it in 309 matches.
- West Ham have now failed to win any of their last 11 games against City in the Premier League (D2 L9), conceding 30 goals and scoring just seven in reply during this period.
- City are now just one short of matching the longest unbeaten run in their history – the 28-game sequence that ran from April to December 2017.
- No player has provided more Premier League assists this season than De Bruyne (11). Hs assist for Dias was his 77th in the competition, moving him into the all-time Premier League top 10 for assists.
– Antonio became the first West Ham player to score home and away against City in a league season since Iain Dowie in 1995-96.
City entertain Wolves on Tuesday, while the Hammers will have a breather before facing Leeds United at home a week on Monday.