Manchester City have equalled their club record of 11 consecutive Premier League victories courtesy of a hard-fought 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium this evening.
The Terriers had already ended the unbeaten start of one Manchester club on home turf going into the match, and they broke the deadlock against the run of play on the stroke of half time when Nicolas Otamendi turned the ball into his own net.
Sergio Aguero levelled things up from the penalty spot immediately after the restart, but it wasn’t until the 84th minute that they finally saw off their valiant hosts when Raheem Sterling bundled in a fortuitous late winner.
The result means that City restore their eight-point lead at the top of the table courtesy of an 18th consecutive win across all competitions, becoming the first team in Premier League history to amass 37 points from their opening 13 games in the process.
City quickly took control of possession but found clear chances difficult to create against a disciplined Huddersfield outfit, with a Vincent Kompany header as close as the free-scoring visitors came in the opening exchanges.
Pep Guardiola’s side did have the ball in the back of the net after 13 minutes when Aguero – selected ahead of Gabriel Jesus from the start – turned a quick Kevin De Bruyne free kick past Jonas Lossl, but the Argentine’s celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag.
Aguero had to wait until the 24th minute for his next sight of goal when he fired a first-time volley bobbling wide of the near post after Huddersfield had failed to clear their lines from a De Bruyne delivery.
Huddersfield’s own breaks forward were few and far between as they focused on keeping City at bay for the most part, but it took a crucial challenge from Kompany inside his own penalty area to deny Laurent Depoitre a clear chance shortly before the half-hour mark.
Christopher Schindler was responsible for a fine last-ditch challenge at the other end moments later, although it could have been different had Aguero’s touch been better from an incisive De Bruyne pass.
With City’s attackers struggling to find a way through the unlikely source of Otamendi tried his luck by striding forward from defence and exchanging a one-two with Aguero, but his subsequent piledriver was always rising over the crossbar.
It wasn’t until the 38th minute that City registered their one and only shot on target in the first half when Aguero was denied by Lossl before Sterling fired the rebound wide of the target with the goal gaping.
Huddersfield then fired the dominant visitors a warning shot moments later when a cross from the right went all the way through to Mathias Jorgensen at the back post, but he could only steer his effort wide when he probably should have done better.
Fernandinho then volleyed over the crossbar from inside the box at the other end before Huddersfield stunned the league leaders by breaking the deadlock against the run of play with virtually the final action of the first half.
The Terriers’ first corner of the game was nodded just over his own crossbar by Kompany, but the following corner did force an own goal as the ball flicked off the shoulder of an unwitting Otamendi and past Ederson.
There was no chance for City to respond before the half-time whistle, but they wasted little time upon the restart and won a penalty within a minute of the start of the second half when Sterling was dragged to ground by Scott Malone.
Aguero stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and took his time before calmly sending Lossl the wrong way and slotting the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
The visitors almost made it two goals in five minutes when Fernandinho slid the ball through for Aguero, but the goalscorer was denied a second by Lossl and Huddersfield then did a good job of curtailing City’s momentum before they could be overrun.
Despite that, Leroy Sane almost gave City the lead in spectacular fashion with a brilliant free kick from range that had Lossl beaten but crashed off the crossbar.
It looked as though Huddersfield were on course for a brave draw until they were cruelly denied with only six minutes remaining when Sterling capped a man-of-the-match display with the winner.
There was a large slice of luck involved, though, as De Bruyne’s through-ball was deflected into the path of Aguero, who in turn saw his shot saved by Lossl and then bounce off Sterling before looping into the net.
Even then Huddersfield refused to give up hope and came close to salvaging a point when former Man City midfielder Aaron Mooy rippled the side-netting with a free kick, but the visitors survived that scare to pick up a record-equalling victory that sees them make the best ever start to the Premier League campaign.
Huddersfield’s frustrations boiled over in the dying stages of the match when Rajiv van la Parra was shown a red card deep into injury time for raising his hands to the face of Sane, who also picked up a yellow card for his involvement in the skirmish.
City had already set a new club landmark of 10 consecutive wins in a single season, but they have now drawn level with their record 11-match winning streak over two campaigns and have still dropped just two points all season.
Huddersfield, meanwhile, drop down into the bottom half following only their second home defeat of the season having also seen Southampton win earlier in the day.