Manchester City equaled the record for consecutive wins in the Premier League thanks to a late David Silva winner at the Etihad to beat West Ham 2-1 - their third such result in a row.
Manchester City equalled the record for consecutive wins in the Premier League thanks to a late David Silva winner at the Etihad to beat West Ham 2-1 - their third such result in a row.
'El Mago', like most of his teammates, didn't have his best game on the day, but was on hand to convert a Kevin De Bruyne cross to ensure the gap at the top of the Premier League between themselves and Manchester United remained at eight points.
City endured a frustrating first 45 minutes in which they were unable to break down a stubborn Hammers defence. Chances were few and far between for Guardiola's side as usual chief orchestrators De Bruyne and Silva struggled to provide inspiration.
There were early warning signs for City, with West Ham conjuring up a golden chance from a corner through Chiekh Kouyate's flick on, only for Michail Antonio to miss the target on the stretch.
The hosts probed with their usual slick passing game, and Fabian Delph was particularly solid in the absence of Fernandinho in midfield, but the creative spark was very absent, with only a couple of efforts from distance coming from Silva and Kyle Walker.
The Spaniard gave the ball away on 35 minutes and in his attempt to win it back, presented Manuel Lanzini with a great chance to score on the right side of the box, only for Ederson to palm behind.
10 minutes later, the Hammers took the lead with Cresswell playing his corner short to Lanzini, receiving it back and delivering for Angelo Ogbonna to rise highest and power in a header which Ederson couldn't keep out, and Guardiola's men went in at the break 1-0 down off the back of there most disappointing half of the season, arguably, so far.
It was much of the same in the second half as City tried to find their rhythm, and West Ham kept to their shape set out for the game by David Moyes.
Some excellent footwork by Delph, who had reverted back to left-back, prompted a foul, and the subsequent free-kick by De Bruyne stung the palms of Adrian. Moments later, half-time substitute Gabriel Jesus dribbled his way into the penalty box down the right side and crossed for Nicolas Otamendi, still up from the free-kick, to equalise from point-black range.
The goal breathed new life into the City supporters, and Leroy Sane almost gave the hosts the lead at the hour mark as he cut in lashed a right foot effort towards the far corner which was beaten away by Adrian.
The German seemed to grow into the game as the half wore on, using his blistering pace to cause problems on both sides of the pitch for the Irons, and had a number of other chances on the edge of the box to score.
A golden chance to take the lead fell to Sterling in the 70th minute when Adrian saved a curling effort from Jesus. The ball fell into the path of the in-form Englishman, but he couldn't make a clean contact.
City continued to knock on the door, with West Ham completely camped into their own penalty box for the final quarter of an hour, with Jesus proving to be a real menace.
The visitors were restricted to just two chances for the whole of the second half - a breakaway led by Michail Antonio, who stung the palms of Ederson after cutting inside on the edge of the box.
City's relentless pressure finally paid off in the 82nd minute when De Bruyne floated a cross into the box for Silva, who acrobatically converted at the far post past a despairing Adrian to celebrate his new contract.
Diafra Sakho might have rescued a point for West Ham in the dying embers of the game, but shot hard and wide as City fans gasped in unison.
It was an extremely hard-fought game, and Moyes will have plenty of positives to take from the performance despite the loss, and City will need to be much better when they travel to Old Trafford for the derby next weekend.