Pep Guardiola stands by decision to recall Claudio Bravo after latest mistake

Manchester City ended a four-game winless run with a comfortable victory over Hull City yesterday.

City's top striker, Aguero, has now scored 10 goals in his last 10 appearances in all competitions.

Heading to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday for the game against Pep Guardiola's side, Hull came out with a three one defeat and Andrea Ranocchia's late strike was nothing more than a consolation.

City now enjoy a seven-point lead over fifth-placed Arsenal and sixth-placed Manchester United, although both teams have two games in hand to reduce that deficit.

City, now fourth in the Premier League and 14 points behind leader Chelsea, has endured an inconsistent season as it adapts to Guardiola's unique system. It is not about having the quality to defend, it is about the mentality.

Guardiola has had the pleasure of working with some of the finest midfielders during his spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich - most notably Spanish stars Xavi and Iniesta - but he insists Silva is right up there with the best in the business.

The continuing absence of Gabriel Jesus, who Guardiola indicated afterwards is likely to be fit at the start of next month, has not damaged City's goalscoring threat. I like everybody involved in the way we want to play, and the defending is the same.

That third goal arrived just beyond the hour mark, as Sterling raced on to Toure's pass to lead another counter-attack, and then rolled a pass left for Delph to thump in his first Premier League goal in more than a year.

"Maybe the second goal is the big example of what we would like to be as a team", he said.

Despite the defeat, Hull remained two points clear of the relegation zone, as its chief relegation-threatened rival Swansea also lost at West Ham.

You have to take chances like that against teams like Manchester City.

We also had one year, and after the second year everybody really knew what should happen, how we play when the ball is here and there, and I think the same will happen at City. We didn't have a good performance this afternoon. In the first half we tried to control a little bit more the organisation of the opponent.

"It was important to get the three points and steady the ship and we are going home happy". It was an unlucky first goal that we conceded.

  • Julie Sanders