David Silva and Yaya Toure are confident Manchester City have returned to top form just when it matters most.
The Spain midfielder captained City in their 2-0 Premier League victory at lowly Sunderland on Sunday to extend the club’s unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games and lift them back into third place in the table.
They remain eight points adrift of runaway leaders Chelsea with manager Pep Guardiola admitting the gap may already be too big, but as they continue to battle for league, FA Cup and Champions League honours, Silva believes they are in a good place.
He told the club’s official website, www.mancity.com: “We have to believe. We know the last two or three months are the most important part of season.
“We’re in a good moment.”
In truth, City’s latest success was far from straightforward as relegation-threatened Sunderland gave as good as they got for long periods.
Indeed, had David Moyes’ men enjoyed a slice of good fortune, they might have taken the lead when Jermain Defoe’s 20th-minute shot came back off the post at too great a pace for Fabio Borini to convert the rebound.
But the game changed three minutes before half-time when Sergio Aguero expertly dispatched Raheem Sterling’s deflected cross for his fifth goal in three games, and victory was assured with 59 minutes gone by Leroy Sane’s composed finish.
Midfielder Yaya Toure admitted Sunderland had given City a scare before their big guns came to the fore.
He said: “We are very happy with the performance and very happy with the three points. Sunderland made us suffer in the first half. It was quite close.
“They were very strong and those kind of teams – fighting against relegation – are always difficult. We try to do our best and play as well as possible.
“Sunderland were full of confidence and the fans were pushing them. It was an unbelievable atmosphere.
“We worked very hard and very well. In the first half, I was a little bit scared. After that, our guys came on fire, Sane, Sterling, Aguero.
“They tried to move the ball. They made the difference. These three guys are unbelievable.”