Man City extend winning streak

Former Leicester Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez wheels away in celebration after his deflected strike drew Man City level
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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have “come through hell and done something more than remarkable” by overcoming a tough winter schedule to extend their winning run to 21 games in all competitions by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Their 4-1 victory at Etihad Stadium courtesy of three goals inside the final 10 minutes means City have not dropped points in the league since a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on 15 December and are now 15 points clear at the top of the table.

During that time they have played 21 games in all competitions, reached the final of the League Cup, the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and taken control of their last-16 Champions League tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.

“In winter time in England it’s hell and in that time we did something incredible,” Guardiola told BBC Sport. “It’s more than remarkable.

“The players have all my compliments but Liverpool have the crown. To win the Premier League we need those points.”

Deal of the day

An unlikely second-half equaliser from Conor Coady – cancelling out Leander Dendoncker’s first-half own goal – had threatened to thwart City’s pursuit of a 15th consecutive Premier League win.

In what was an otherwise one-side encounter, Coady’s 61st-minute header – his first Premier League goal and his team’s first touch in their opponents’ penalty area – gave the visitors hope of earning at least a point.

However Gabriel Jesus put City back in front with a shot on the turn from Kyle Walker’s deflected cross.

With Wolves’ spirit broken, in-form Riyad Mahrez fired in his seventh league goal of the season before Brazil striker Jesus got his second with virtually the final kick as VAR ruled his effort onside.

The leaders face second-placed Manchester United on Sunday with the chance to move another step closer to the title.

“We have one or two days to rest and I realise how strong they are,” Guardiola said of United “It’s an incredible opportunity to make a huge step and we are going to try.”

It was a measure of Nuno’s caution that when Adama Traore was fouled at the start of the second-half and referee Chris Kavanagh played advantage as the ball ran on to Nelson Semedo, he complained because he knew there was more chance of joy from the set piece than open play.

The fact that after 28 minutes City midfielder Rodri had completed more passes than the entire Wolves team demonstrated the home side’s dominance.

One of those passes was pretty important too, delivered over 40 yards from the centre of the pitch over the Wolves defence to the feet of Mahrez, whose cross led to the opening goal.

Dendoncker knew he had to go for the ball otherwise Raheem Sterling would have had a tap-in.

From that point, possibly the most interesting aspect of the evening from a City perspective was that when Guardiola needed a goal to put his side back in front, Ilkay Gundogan was the man he was primed to turn to rather than Sergio Aguero, who remained unused.

As was the case West Ham United on Saturday, Wolves were unable to cling on to a point as City equalled a club-record 28 games without defeat.

City have also equalled Arsenal’s Premier League record of 19 games without trailing at any point.

“We must look at the game because we made a couple of mistakes under the pressure of City and they are very dangerous and they will punish you,” said Wolves boss Nuno.

“City are very talented; amazing players, amazing manager. All the other teams that come here find it difficult because they are a good opponent.”