Manchester City restored their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League by coming back from a goal down to beat Huddersfield Town, thanks to a plucky 84th minute Raheem Sterling winner.
Christopher Schindler headed the hosts ahead seconds before the half-time whistle and give the Yorkshiremen belief that another miracle would be about to unfold in front of home support.
Sergio Agüero squashed that belief just 55 seconds into the second period from the penalty spot after Scott Malone, who didn't have the best of games, brought down Sterling
City's pressure paid off in the final 10 minutes, as the English winger bagged another goal, a crucial goal, to send the travelling fans back down the M62 happy with a club-record-equalling 11th straight league win.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City travelled to a freezing cold John Smith’s Stadium knowing that a victory would not only restore their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League, but equal the club’s record league win-streak of 11 matches.
Despite the West Yorkshire side’s understandable underdog status, Huddersfield Town had reasons to be optimistic themselves after securing their first consecutive home win since 1971 against West Bromwich Albion earlier on in the month.
Schindler sends Huddersfield to partial dreamland
The home fans were in fine voice as usual as Laurent Depoitre kicked the game off, and the visitors were applying the early pressure. Two early corners failed to cause much trouble for the Huddersfield defence – Scott Malone put Leroy Sané’s initial cross out for another before Vincent Kompany headed De Bruyne’s delivery way wide of the mark.
The Terriers noticeably changed their playing style to cope with Manchester City’s expected domination as they only pressed certain areas to keep a strong shape and avoid vulnerability to Guardiola’s array of attacking talent.
Sergio Agüero briefly thought he’d given City the lead on 13 minutes after getting on the end of a quick David Silva free-kick and turning the ball home past Jonas Lössl, however, was denied by the assistant’s offside flag in what was a correct call.
A first sign of attacking intent from Town came just before the midway mark in the first half, as Tom Ince sent Tommy Smith flying down the right wing before the captain cut in on his weaker left side and fired an uncontrolled effort over the bar from 25 yards out. Smith spearheaded another promising attack minutes later, but his captaincy counterpart Vincent Kompany had the better of Danny Williams on the end of the right-back’s cross.
Fabian Delph went on to enter the home faithful’s bad book, if being an ex-Leeds United player didn’t have him marked in beforehand, for a rash challenge on Ince in Town’s half. The away side entered second gear in the 23rd minute and so nearly broke the deadlock after brilliant link-up play between David Silva and Leroy Sané down the left resulted in the latter fizzing a ball across the face of goal – no City players were around and Rajiv van La Parra could clear.
The returning Christopher Schindler perfectly justified why he’s being heavily touted as Huddersfield Town Player of the Year so far on 34 minutes – making a last-ditch sliding tackle on Agüero in the penalty area, who’d been sent through one-on-one by Kevin De Bruyne.
The visitors continued to press into the final stages of the first period with Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi cannoning long-range efforts narrowly over the crossbar, but it was Huddersfield who took an astonishing lead through Schindler. The German centre-back got on the end of a Tom Ince corner and directed his header into the net off Nicolas Otamendi’s shoulder to send the John Smith’s Stadium into a frenzy.
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Scruffy Sterling wins it in the dying embers
The second half couldn’t have got off to a worse start for David Wagner’s side as Scott Malone clumsily brought down Raheem Sterling in the box 55 seconds into play and Craig Pawson subsequently pointed to the spot. Who else but Sergio Agüero stepped up confidently and sent Lössl the wrong way to bag his 9th Premier League goal of the campaign – the Citizens then had the wind in their sails, a nightmare for any football club this season.
The Argentinian striker continued to look as dangerous as ever and forced another top save from Huddersfield’s Danish goalkeeper 10 minutes into the second period after being slipped into the box by Fernandinho.
A stunning Leroy Sané free-kick from 25 yards out curled over the Town wall and bounced off the right side of the bar, leaving Jonas Lössl rooted to the spot and serving as a clear reminder of what the West Yorkshire club would be up against for the final half an hour or so.
Mr Pawson handed out his first bookings of the game just past the hour mark, first to Fernandinho for a comical piece of simulation just outside the Town penalty area and then to Scott Malone for taking out Kevin De Bruyne in a needless area of the pitch.
Relentless flurries of Manchester City attacks called for mighty Huddersfield resiliency and Wagner responded quickly by replacing the shaky Malone with Chris Löwe with 16 minutes left on the clock.
Pep Guardiola had a change of his own to make, an attacking one as well, as Brazilian star Gabriel Jesus came on looking to build on the 20 goals he’s contributed to in his last 20 games – Vincent Kompany made way. The home side made a change to freshen the attack of their own, bringing on Colin Quaner for Tom Ince, who stills holds the unwanted record of more shots without goals than any other Premier League player this season.
Huddersfield’s resistance was finally broken with six to go as Raheem Sterling bagged yet another goal to extend his impressive 2017-18 tally, albeit a scruffy one. Gabriel Jesus’ shot was saved by Lössl and the ball rebounded off the English winger and into the goal to break The Terriers’ hearts late on.
Rajiv van La Parra was shown a straight red card in the 90th minute following a coming-together with Leroy Sané, who was booked, to end a day, that should give Huddersfield Town pride, in disappointment.
The victory was Manchester City's 18th consecutive triumph in all competitions and 26th match unbeaten, a record stretching back seven months. Meanwhile, Town will want to stop the rut as soon as possible with tough trips to Arsenal and Chelsea to come in their next four league games.
Huddersfield remain in 11th place, a good position in hindsight, while Pep Guardiola's team sit pretty at the top of the Premier League, and are the first ever top-flight club to claim 37 points from their first 13 matches of a campaign.