A late Raheem Sterling winner secured Manchester City a record-breaking 11th successive away victory in all competitions, as the Premier League pacesetters claimed a hard-fought 2-1 triumph at Huddersfield Town.
City appeared to be on the brink of dropping points in the league for the first time since August 21, but a fortuitous Sterling goal six minutes from the end spared Pep Guardiola's blushes, their 11th straight win on the road setting a new record for English top-flight clubs.
City dominated the first half and looked particularly threatening when David Silva got himself on the ball, the Spain international crafting numerous chances.
But City wasted most of the plethora of opportunities which fell their way, with Huddersfield taking the lead just before the break thanks to a Nicolas Otamendi own goal, which had more than a hint of luck about it.
City were level again shortly after the restart, though, as Sergio Aguero converted a penalty and Leroy Sane nearly added another shortly afterwards, rattling the crossbar with a fierce free-kick.
Attacks came thick and fast towards the end for City and eventually their persistence paid off, with Sterling bundling home a rebound to maintain the eight-point gap at the top of the table and secure an 11th consecutive league win.
12 - Raheem Sterling has scored 12 goals in 18 appearances for Manchester City this season; his best ever goal return in a single club season (all comps). Crucial. pic.twitter.com/eXOy3TEPcB — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 26, 2017
The home side were under significant pressure at times during the early exchanges, but their dogged defending initially managed to limit City's clear-cut chances.
City began to find joy once Silva took charge in midfield, however.
The Spaniard was particularly prominent in the 23rd minute, releasing Sane into the penalty area in a quick one-two, with the winger then flashing a teasing ball across the face of goal.
Silva was at the centre of things again just after the half-hour mark, exchanging passes with Kevin De Bruyne and finding Aguero in the area, but his first touch let him down and allowed Christopher Schindler to make a vital block.
Silva found Aguero again soon after, but this time the striker was denied by Jonas Lossl, before Sterling smashed the rebound wide.
And Huddersfield punished that profligacy on the stroke of half-time – Schindler flicking on a corner and finding the net via Otamendi's shoulder.
But the away side enjoyed an electric start to the second half and were level inside two minutes, as Aguero coolly stroked home from 12 yards after Scott Malone clumsily tripped Sterling in the penalty area.
Sane almost completed the turnaround for City 10 minutes later, striking the bar with a brilliant 25-yard free-kick.
Guardiola threw caution to the wind in search of the three points, replacing Vincent Kompany with Gabriel Jesus 10 minutes from the end.
And the Brazilian played a role in City's winning goal four minutes later, latching on to a De Bruyne pass and shooting at Lossl, whose save saw the ball bounce back on to Sterling and into the net.
84. @gabrieljesus33 spins and shoots, and the effort rebounds off @sterling7's chest and drops into the net.
Goal of the season contender!
1-2 #huddvcity pic.twitter.com/Ppryt24Mab — Manchester City (@ManCity) November 26, 2017
The hosts fought until the end, but ultimately they did not have enough and Rajiv van La Parra highlighted their frustration right at the death, receiving a red card after the final whistle for pushing Sane in the face.
Key Opta stats:
- Manchester City's 37-point tally after 13 games is the best return in the history of the Premier League – only one other side in top-flight history won as many as 37 (Liverpool in 1990-91, also 37).
- City recovered from a half-time deficit to win in an away Premier League game for the first time since April 1995 against Blackburn Rovers (3-2).
- Huddersfield have now lost five of their last seven Premier League games (W2), after losing just one of their first six.
- Sergio Aguero has scored against 31 of the 32 opponents he has faced in the Premier League, only failing to do so in one match against Bolton.