Silva bells, it's Xmas time in City

Manchester City's David Silva (No. 21) scoring the third goal in his side's 4-0 victory against Swansea. He has five goals and eight assists this season and his form has been a vital factor in City's dominance.
Manchester City's David Silva (No. 21) scoring the third goal in his side's 4-0 victory against Swansea. He has five goals and eight assists this season and his form has been a vital factor in City's dominance.PHOTO: REUTERS

Guardiola denies complacency after brace by midfielder as encounter with Spurs looms

LONDON • Another day, another cause for celebration. Manchester City have now recorded their 15th Premier League win in succession after their 4-0 away victory over Swansea, breaking Arsenal's mark which was set over two seasons.

Inspired by the peerless David Silva, City were a class apart from Swansea, just as they are a class apart from anybody in the top-flight.

City march on, and they sing on. One minute in and the fans were belting out tunes to praise their manager, Pep Guardiola.

They were soon rewarded with goals from David Silva, twice, and Kevin de Bruyne within the hour, before Sergio Aguero scored the fourth in the 85th minute.

Guardiola's men were in complete control, recording 413 passes in the first half to Swansea's 127.

Despite City's dominance, Guardiola said there was no possibility of complacency.

"That is not going to happen," he told the BBC, when asked if a slacking off might occur with City 11 points clear at the top.

"We are so demanding for our players. We can lose, we can drop points but complacency never happened in the past, the present or the future. Winning 15 games in a row gives us a lot of confidence.

"If people are happy watching us, that is the best gift."

City supporters will undoubtedly enjoy the early Christmas present - nothing short of a dazzling attacking display from the league leaders.

And perhaps nothing has been finer than the way Guardiola has brought Silva into full bloom.

With his double against Swansea, Silva has now been involved in 13 Premier League goals in 17 matches this season - five goals and eight assists - which is more than he managed in the whole of 2016-17.

Next up for City will be a home league game tomorrow against fourth-placed Tottenham, who beat Brighton 2-0 on Wednesday with goals from Serge Aurier and Son Heung Min.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has said that his team are relishing the prospect of testing their credentials against City.

"I am so positive. I am a positive person. What happens on Saturday, who knows? We go to Manchester to try to win," he said.

"We are going to enjoy the game. They are the best team in England, and one of the best teams in Europe. I want it to excite the players. I want to play against teams with managers like Guardiola who are the best."

On Wednesday, he joked that Tottenham may have to cover the see-through tunnel in their new stadium because of the possibility of incidents such as last Sunday's Manchester derby tunnel bust-up.

The Football Association has extended the time allowed for both City and Manchester United to submit their accounts of the brawl to 6pm UK time today (tomorrow, 2am, Singapore time).

However, the FA's hopes of discovering who was to blame may be slim after it emerged there are no CCTV cameras in the corridor near the changing rooms at Old Trafford.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2017, with the headline 'Silva bells, it's Xmas time in City'. Print Edition | Subscribe