"Arguably we might have had the best chances in the first half and we defended well".
Manchester City's third successive late victory "shows what we are", manager Pep Guardiola said after David Silva's 83rd-minute victor saw his side equal a Premier League-record 13th successive triumph. David Silva's late goal made sure they head to Old Trafford next Sunday for the derby, some eight points clear at the top of the division.
"It's a big victory", Guardiola told the BBC.
They played 10 players inside the box, it was nearly impossible.
Guardiola felt the change worked and plans to use it again against teams who defend deeply.
Guardiola said he would have preferred winning before the last moments.
"We don't normally play with two strikers and two wingers but we did, so it is a lesson for us".
As expected, City dominated possession but the mass ranks of West Ham defenders frustrated their array of attacking players and disrupted the rhythm of their intricate, threaded passes.
Silva converted Kevin de Bruyne's brilliant pass from close range in the 83rd minute as City maintained their blistering form this season. "I don't think Manchester United will be all at the back because it's a good game, and just like us they also need the result". "But the teams have been playing closed, we have had difficulty finding the spaces there, because there are a lot of people in front of the box".
Angelo Ogbonna's opener for West Ham came directly from a corner, as did the goal that City conceded against Huddersfield last week, while Southampton troubled them from set pieces during the week.