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Pep Guardiola won his 500th game as a manager with a 1-0 win against Sheffield United

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Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates with team mate Phil Foden after scoring their side's winning goal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates with team mate Phil Foden after scoring their side's winning goal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates with team mate Phil Foden after scoring their side's winning goal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted he was satisfied with his side’s 1-0 win against bottom club Sheffield United, on a day when his league leaders so nearly conceded a late equaliser.

Guardiola toasted his 500th win as a manager as striker Gabriel Jesus snatched a ninth-minute goal that was enough to beat a stubborn Blades side, who were back in Manchester four days after their famous win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Despite dominating possession, City struggled to create meaningful chances and they were almost caught out late on when John Fleck shot narrowly wide.

Yet other than that late scare, and despite not peppering the visitors’ goal with chances, it was still a strong performance by City as they claimed their eighth successive win in the Premier League and maintained their position at the top.

“People think if we won the last one 5-0, we will win this one 5-0. This is the real world, not a fairytale,” said Guardiola.

“Today when I see Sheffield is bottom of the league. You see his team and realise how tough is the Premier League. We always struggle to beat them every season. It was an incredible performance.

“We played incredibly well in many areas. We conceded a few chances. We didn’t create much but enough to win the game.”

This was City’s 12th successive win in all competitions, with Guardiola hailing his side’s run that has allowed them to move seven points clear of reigning champions Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

“In December and January to show this consistency is amazing. We will drop points, it’s about how we overcome it,” he added.

“In this league, every game is so difficult. Hopefully we react good in the bad moments which for sure are coming.”

While this was not a City side purring at their brilliant best, they have more than enough chances to make their margin of victory more comfortable, with Sheffield United keeper Aaron Ramsdale pulling off a string of fine saves.

“We’ve not been cut open by an unbelievable piece of brilliance. The players were up against a team who can produce at any time, not just against us but anyone in the division and in Europe,” said Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder.

“Our aim was to stay in the game and open up a bit late on. I don’t want a pat on the back. If people think we can open up from the off, you know what will happen.

“We’re alive and have a desire to compete. If you go a goal down here, it could become quite a long afternoon. I thought we grew into the game, which was really key.

“They can kill you off on the counter-attack, but you hope for that one break or set-piece.

“Our season is not going to be defined by what happened today, but it’s been a decent week for us.

“You’ve seen a team that’s fighting for their lives and can cause teams problems.”

Sheffield United now look towards a must-win game against relegation rivals West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night, while City turn their attention to an away game at Burnley a day later.

This season’s unpredictable title race is certain to have more twists and turns, but City’s magical dozen of victories has sent out a powerful message of intent.

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