Ability to Grind Out a Victory Will Help Manchester City in Its Title Chase

Even when Manchester City wasn't at its best, it was able to secure all three points–a quality that bodes well for Pep Guardiola's side going forward.
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Manchester City was unable to reach top gear against Huddersfield but they still ground out a victory - and that is going to aid the team massively going forward as they hunt down the Premier League title.

City's superstars have spent a lot of time this season having things their own way, having the most shots, scoring the most goals, registering more passes, recording a higher possession stat. But one thing they hadn't experienced up until Sunday was coming from behind to win.

Nicolas Otamendi's own goal saw City go in 1-0 down at the break at the John Lees Stadium, and people tried to whisper during the interval that Huddersfield could topple both Manchester United and City at their home ground.

The plucky Terriers have been a breath of fresh air in the Premier League this season, and David Wagner must come in for a lot credit for the way he has set his team up - they could easily have taken points off Pep Guardiola's side and cut the gap at the top to just six points since United won on the Saturday.

Thankfully for City fans though, the team were able to come from behind to win away from home in the Premier League and in the process, break a hoodoo dating back 22 years.

Perhaps the only question being asked of Guardiola right now is whether he can keep his side from becoming complacent, having been so used to dominating teams in terms of possession and goals - he and his players answered that question emphatically with a ballsy display, with perhaps a slice of luck for good measure.

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A team cannot play a 10/10 game every single time, but for the players to know that they can grind out wins whilst not playing well - it is only going to stand them in good stead for later on in the season when sticky situations inevitably arise.

You could tell by looking at Guardiola how much the result meant to him. You could tell the nature of the result was deeply satisfying for a man who is almost routine to sweeping teams aside. This is a man who is looking at the bigger picture - he knows a performance and result combination such as the one against Huddersfield is what ends up winning you league titles.

Sunday was an 'off day' for the usually sumptious Citizens, but they showed patience, maturity and heart, and the players will take more confidence from that than a 5-0 exhibition against Crystal Palace. Or at least, Guardiola will make it known that they should.