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An Elmohamady own goal got the ball rolling as the hosts claimed their first win in five league games
Pep Guardiola finally has something to smile about after Manchester City ended his winless run to register their first league victory since March 5.
His players answered his call to be more clinical in front of goal as they brushed off Marco Silva’s rejuvenated Hull.
Ahmed Elmohamady scored an own goal for the first on 31 minutes before Raheem Sterling took charge for City.
Sterling created the second for Sergio Aguero on 48 minutes, which was his 10th in 10 games, before the England winger teed up Fabian Delph to score the third on 64 minutes on his second league start.
Evandro had a chance for Hull at 1-0, but the Tigers faded badly in the second half and they have mustered just two points from their last 15 games on the road.
Claudio Bravo marred City’s day when he dropped a clanger to let in Andrea Ranocchia’s shot five minutes from time on his first league start since January 21.
1. David Silva just keeps going
Silva made his 300th appearance for Manchester City and the playmaker, dubbed the magician, is losing none of his magic. He brought creativity to City with his range of passing and found Jesus Navas on the right, who crossed for Ahmed Elmohamady to put through his own net. As well as his craft, Silva shows plenty of graft and he puts in the hard yards Pep Guardiola demands of his players. It is no fluke that he is the only one of City’s old guard to flourish under Guardiola.
2. Guardiola must keep Aguero happy
Guardiola claimed at his press conference yesterday that City have failed to last the pace in the title race because they are not good enough in the box. He feels they are too wasteful when it comes to converting chances. Yet he has one of the world’s best natural goalscorers in Aguero, whom he does not seem to cherish. Aguero only got his place back when Gabriel Jesus broke his metatarsal, but he has shown his predatory instincts to score 10 goals in his last 10 appearances. In total, he has 28 goals in 38 games this season and any manager would love a striker with those stats.
3. Delph is determined to grab his belated chance
Delph has had to show the patience of Job at City while he waited for his opportunity under Guardiola. He followed up his first league start of the season at Chelsea with a place in today’s line-up. He worked hard and crowned his display with a fine left-foot strike to register his second goal of the season. Guardiola made a point of praising him in his programme notes, writing he “produced an excellent performance” at Stamford Bridge. Delph will be hoping his display will earn him more game time in the run-in.
4. The Allams must tie Silva down to a new deal as soon as possible
Hull’s owners gave Silva a six-month deal when he took over at the KCOM in January and the Portuguese has more than proved his value to the Tigers. He claims he is content to leave contract talks until the summer as he focuses on Hull’s survival fight, but the Allams should move heaven and earth to keep him. Hull’s turnaround under him has been remarkable and they showed plenty of fight against City. The Allams should sign him up regardless of Hull’s fate this season because he clearly is one of Europe’s best young coaches.
5. Pep says he won’t change
Guardiola is enduring the worst season of his glittering career and even second place looks beyond them because of Tottenham’s form. He has been criticised for trying to play a brand of passing football which does not get the best out of the players he currently has. But the Catalan says he will not sacrifice his footballing principles. Writing in his programme notes, he said: “I like my players to play in a certain way and I will not change that whether we win or lose – we are a proactive team.”