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Manchester City's Bernardo Silva: Patience was key to win over Chelsea

MANCHESTER -- Bernardo Silva praised Manchester City's patience after they beat Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 18 points.

City dominated and broke the record for most passes in a match, with 902 completed, but created few chances at the Etihad Stadium.

Chelsea were criticised for their negative tactics but Silva, who scored the only goal just after half-time, said Antonio Conte's side had made it difficult for the runaway leaders.

"We knew we had to be patient because when you play against a team as defensive and as strong on the counter-attack as Chelsea you have to be patient," he told reporters.

"You have to control their main players and that's what we did. Fortunately we got three more points and we're closer to the title.

"Chelsea can play the way they want. We knew it could be a possibility and when the game started we had to adapt to it and then play our game.

"We always try to control the game, to play offensive football, to create chances and score goals.

"Fortunately we won three more points and now we have to think about the next one."

Bernardo Silva celebrates his winner against Chelsea.

Silva has scored in three of his last four starts for City, with the only blip being the shock FA Cup defeat at League One side Wigan Athletic.

The Portugal playmaker believes he is finding his best form following his summer move from Monaco, having been mainly used as a substitute in the first half of the season.

"When you lose, sometimes it is more difficult but we gave a very good answer, a very good response [to the Wigan defeat] and now we won three games," he added.

"On Wednesday we have again a very important game against Basel [in the Champions League] in front of our fans and we want to win again.

"[Scoring] means you are helping the team. I have said many times when you play in a club like Manchester City it is never easy to play when you have in your position players in the middle like Kevin De Bruyne, [Ilkay] Gundogan, David Silva, and wide players like LeroySane and Sterling. I give every day 100 percent to do my best and help the team.

"We want to think game by game but, of course, it means a lot for us to arrive in March and to be so close to winning the title."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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