Pep Guardiola said his Manchester City players were “fighting like animals” after the Premier League leaders beat bottom club Sheffield United to record a club-record 12th successive victory.
Aside from Gabriel Jesus’ close-range strike from a Ferran Torres cross, an instinctive header from Bernardo Silva – created by a stray Oliver Norwood header – was City’s only effort on target until Aaron Ramsdale denied Oleksandr Zinchenko and then Aymeric Laporte from the corner that followed.
But the Blues’ defensive strength was again on show. Guardiola’s side have now kept five clean sheets in a row in the Premier League, and an impressive 11 out of 13.
The last team in England’s top flight to register 12 consecutive wins in all competitions were Arsenal, who did so between August and October 2007.
“In December and January to show this consistency is amazing,” Guardiola told BBC Sport. “In this league every game is so difficult.
“It was an incredible performance. We played incredibly well in many areas. We conceded few chances. We didn’t create much, but enough to win the game.
“We will drop points, it’s about how we overcome it. Hopefully we react good in the bad moments, which for sure are coming.”
It was certainly far too strong for a visiting team who never looked like emulating their victory at Manchester United three days ago and remain rooted to the foot of the table, 10 points adrift of fourth-bottom Brighton.
For Guardiola, this was a staggering 500th win of a managerial career of 673 games.
Manchester United’s goalless draw at Arsenal on Saturday evening leaves City three points clear of their neighbours at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.