MANCHESTER — Pep Guardiola said he was happy to have his own version of “Fergie time” after Manchester City again left it late to clinch a 2-1 win over West Ham United on Sunday.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United regularly won games late on, with a particular knack of scoring deep into added “Fergie time.”
City have won their last three games in the final seven minutes of the 90, with David Silva getting the crucial goal against the Hammers as City made it 13 straight Premier League victories.
And Guardiola told a news conference: “I heard about ‘Fergie time.’ I was not here in that period, but of course you have to have that.
“What we show in the last games is we never give up. The opponent doesn’t want to play. They just want to defend — I understand, I am not judging, don’t misunderstand me — but it is difficult, you cannot make high pressing, they use the counter-attack and set-pieces.
“Always, they have 10 players behind the ball.
“Hopefully in the future, opponents can try to play and it might be easier. But I’m happy because we were able to do it in the second half.
“If we can take something about the ‘Fergie time,’ it is welcome, a pleasure.”
The victory maintained City’s eight-point lead over second-placed United ahead of next week’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
United will be without Paul Pogba, who is suspended after being sent off in the win at Arsenal on Saturday.
Guardiola said he would prefer it if the France star was eligible to play but said he was surprised by Pogba’s comments that he would like City’s players to pick up some injuries.
“Did he say that? Hopefully no one will be injured,” Guardiola said.
“I would like that Paul could play against us because I like to face the team with the best players possible to see if we are able to beat them.
“I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want other players to get injured.”
Before the derby, City travel to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in their final Champions League group game.
Guardiola vowed to play a strong team, saying City owed it to Napoli to compete because the Italian side could still progress if his side won.
“I said to the guys, anyone who doesn’t want to play against Donetsk tell me now please because I am going to prepare the game to win,” he added.
“For the respect of Shakhtar, for the respect of Napoli, for the respect of the competition and because it’s a big opportunity to win 18 points for the prestige of the club.
“The best way to prepare for United, Tottenham and Swansea is to play good against Shakhtar.”
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.