City came from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Huddersfield in a blood and thunder War of the Roses. Remarkably, it was the first time in 22 years that the Blues have recovered from a half-time deficit in the Premier League, but it was arguably the hardest-fought three points of the campaign as David Wagner's side pushed the leaders all the way. An own goal by Nicolas Otamendi just before half-time gave the hosts the advantage, but a penalty from Sergio Aguero just after the re-start and yet another late winner from Raheem Sterling secured another record-breaking victory.
What happened? Huddersfield defended in numbers and worked hard every time City were in possession, making the final ball somewhat rushed in the opening stages. With Ederson practically a bystander for the first half-hour, the Blues were almost permanently camped in the Terriers’ half, trying to find a way through a packed defence and often ten men behind the ball. There were chances to open the scoring for the visitors, however. Kevin De Bruyne’s corner was headed wide by Vincent Kompany on seven minutes with the skipper taking his eye off the ball at the last moment and heading it wide. Then Aguero had the ball in the net on 13, but had drifted offside when De Bruyne’s free-kick was fired in and when Leroy Sane finally did get behind the home rear-guard. His low ball across the six-yard box was a fraction away from Aguero connecting. Backed by a partisan home crowd, every challenge and tackle was roared on as a minor victory. The Blues looked to have finally found a way through on 33 when slick passing between David Silva and De Bruyne saw the former thread a ball through to Aguero but his first touch allowed a defender to challenge and force him to shoot over. Otamendi then send a fierce shot inches over from 20 yards and moments later, with gaps starting to appear in the Huddersfield defence, and then Aguero again found space, forced a good save from Jonas Lossl and Raheem Sterling fired the rebound wide. Shortly before the break, Aaron Mooy’s cross was nearly turned home by Mathias Jorgensen from close range before the hosts delivered the ultimate sucker-pinch in first half added time as Otamendi’s shoulder diverted a corner past Ederson to give Huddersfield the lead. Suddenly, the 80% possession for the Blues meant little with the home side’s containing plan added with the hope of nicking something along the way looked to be working to perfection. Was this the day the incredible run of results finally ended? There was, at least, one more half to go and still time for City to turn things around. As it happened, the Blues were level within two minutes of the re-start. Sterling appealed for a penalty in the first attack as he clashed with keeper Lossl, and then seconds later, a sublime ball from Silva set Sterling clear in the box but he was tugged back by Scott Malone and referee Pawson pointed to the spot - Aguero cooly slotted home and the teams were back on equal terms. There was now an urgency in the Blues' play that hadn't been as evident in the opening period, despite the dominance - with a few words of 'advice' no doubt still ringing in the City players' ears! Sane then rattled the crossbar on 55 with a free-kick from 25 yards as the Blues looked to turn the screw and edge ahead. But the hosts dug deep and resumed their defensive discipline, despite wave after wave of attack by City. Gabriel Jesus replaced Kompany as City went for broke and the Brazilian - as he always seems to do - was soon involved in what turned out to be a deserved, but somewhat fortuitous second goal for the Blues. A pass to Jesus saw the striker denied by Lossl but Sterling, following up, saw the ball bounce off him and loop up and into the net to send the travelling support wild. It was his 12th goal of an already superb season for the winger who has a habit of scoring crucial late goals for the Blues. There were one or two edgy moments in the time that remained, but despite the resolve of the Terriers - who certainly don't like any bite - City were deserved victors. And an altercation between Sane and van La Parra saw the Huddersfield player show a red card on full-time.
Key moments: There were a number of pivotal moments, but City levelling immediately after the re-start thanks to the livewire Sterling's determination was the key to turning the tide of what was a difficult afternoon in West Yorkshire.
City Matchday App star man: Sergio Aguero Non-stop 90 minutes from Kun who kept his head when offered the chance to restore parity.
What it means: City restore an eight-point lead over Manchester United while moving nine points clear of defending champions Chelsea and 11 points clear of last season's runners-up Tottenham.
Milestones: City have equaled the Club record of 11 successive Premier League wins set between April-September 2015. The Blues are the first side to take 37 points from the first 13 games of a Premier League season. City have now won 11 games in a row on the road - a run that stretches back seven months to a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough. The Blues have won 18 games in succession in all competitions and are 26 games unbeaten.
What’s next? City have back-to-back home games now against Southampton on Wednesday and West Ham next Sunday.
Huddersfield Town (1): Lössl, Malone, Schindler, Jorgensen, Smith, Williams, van La Parra, Mooy, Ince, Hogg, Depoitre
Man City (2): Santana de Moraes, Delph, Otamendi, Walker, Kompany, De Bruyne, Silva, Luiz Rosa, Agüero, Sterling, Sané