Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised the will to win of “animal” David Silva after his goals helped the Premier League leaders thrash Swansea and extend their record run of consecutive top-flight wins to 15.
Silva scored twice and further goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero ensured City maintained their 11-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the table, while Swansea remain bottom.
The Spain playmaker elegantly flicked the fluent visitors in front from close range before De Bruyne’s whipped free-kick evaded several players on its way in.
The procession continued after the interval as the elegant Silva delicately scooped the ball over Lukasz Fabianski for City’s third.
Aguero then surged into the penalty area and drove in a late fourth as Swansea’s sixth defeat from nine home league matches this season left them rooted to the foot of the table, two points adrift of safety.
“David is hugely competitive, everyone knows his skills, there is no doubt – a blind guy is able to see that – but you cannot imagine how competitive he is,” Guardiola told BBC Radio 5 live.
“He is a stylish guy, but he is an animal, always wanting to win games.”
City have now scored 52 times in 17 Premier League games, with Silva getting four in three games after also netting in the 2-1 wins over West Ham and Manchester United.
“It is so important for us that not just Gabriel (Jesus) or Sergio (Aguero) score,” added Guardiola. “Our attacking midfielders, our wingers, our set pieces we can score goals and on the counter-attack, that’s why I’m delighted for David that he is scoring goals.”
‘Magician’ Silva impresses
Match of the Day pundit and former England striker Alan Shearer added: “We are watching a magician in David Silva. His performances just get better.
“He gets everything ticking over at pace, left foot, right foot – you name it. He was creating chances for them all.
“It’s so quick, there is not anything he cannot do, and his attitude is fantastic. It’s absolutely magnificent, and how he looks after himself.”
Slick City march on
City stretched their lead in the Premier League to a commanding 11 points with a 14th successive league win – a new record for the English top flight – in Sunday’s derby against Manchester United.
Their rowdy celebrations at Old Trafford irked United manager Jose Mourinho, who said City had shown a lack of respect by playing music loudly in their changing room.
But in the hours leading up to their match against Swansea, it was notable in the bowels of the Liberty Stadium that music was once again blaring out as City prepared.
The visitors were immediately into their groove, with the recalled Aguero firing wide and Fernandinho’s crisp low volley well saved by Fabianski.
But the Poland goalkeeper was stranded when an inswinging cross from Bernardo Silva found his namesake David unmarked and unhurried as he nonchalantly back-heeled the ball into the net.
Guardiola’s men had barely broken sweat by the time they doubled their lead, De Bruyne’s whipped free-kick sneaking through a crowd of bodies and beyond an unsighted Fabianski.
Given their 2-0 half-time advantage, City may have been tempted to ease off after the restart but, if anything, they increased the intensity as they continued to drive towards Swansea’s penalty area.
Their dominance owed much to the magic of their captain Silva, who played a deft one-two with Raheem Sterling before artfully lifting the ball over Fabianski for the third goal.
Aguero joined in the fun late on, collecting a pass from Yaya Toure before driving into the Swans’ box and finishing decisively into the bottom corner.
Swansea stay bottom
The mood in the Swansea side going into this game will have been happier than it was a week earlier, with Saturday’s win over West Brom – their first since October – easing the pressure on head coach Paul Clement.
The three points also lifted the Welsh side off the foot of the Premier League table, only for Crystal Palace’s dramatic late victory against Watford on Tuesday to move Clement’s men back to the bottom.
Although their home record of five defeats, two wins and a draw offered little hope, Swansea had at least demonstrated at times this season – such as the goalless draw at Tottenham – that they had the capacity to frustrate illustrious opponents.
However, any thoughts of an upset on this occasion were swiftly put to rest.
Swansea could not lay a glove on City and, although better teams have also been undone by Guardiola’s often irresistible charges, Clement was disappointed with his side’s meek display.
They lacked tenacity defensively and could not keep possession for any meaningful length of time, which meant they were constantly under pressure from their frighteningly skilful opponents.
Swansea’s survival will not depend on fixtures against teams as powerful as City but, if they are to avoid relegation again this season, they will need to play with more fire and belief than they did on this occasion.
Man of the match was David Silva of Manchester City.
It was a masterful display from David Silva as he orchestrated matters in midfield and scored two delightful goals.
Swansea’s home woe continues – the stats
- Manchester City have won 13 and lost only one of their last 16 matches between the clubs in all competitions.
- Swansea have only gained seven points at home, the worst record of any team in the Premier League.
- City have set an English top-flight record of 15 successive league wins within a single season. They had previously held the record along with Arsenal’s 14-match winning run between February and August 2002.
- Manchester City have won all nine away league matches in 2017-18.
- Kevin de Bruyne has now been involved in 13 goals (five goals, eight assists) in his 14 Premier League appearances since the start of September.
- David Silva has been involved in 13 Premier League goals in 17 games this season (five goals, eight assists) – already more than in the whole of 2016-17 (11 goal involvements in 34 games).