Silva is an animal - Guardiola

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David Silva might be one of the most easy-on-the-eye playmakers the Premier League has seen but Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has labelled the Spain international an "animal".

Silva has been typically influential for the runaway leaders this season with eight assists and five goals in the top flight.

Four of those strikes have come in City's past three games, with vital contributions in the 2-1 wins over West Ham and Manchester United followed by a brace in Wednesday's 4-0 thumping of lowly Swansea City.

The 31-year-old, who recently signed a one-year contract extension at the Etihad Stadium, has not always found goals so easy to come by, and Guardiola has urged a man he champions as a fierce competitor to sharpen up on this side of his game.

"He has everything, especially the huge competitor he is," the Catalan told BBC Sport. "Everybody talks about his skills, no doubt about that. One blind guy is able to see it.

"But you cannot imagine how [much of] a competitor he is. He looks like a stylish guy but, wow, he is an animal in terms of winning games.

"Always we spoke about that: 'You have to score goals, David. You have the ability to do that. You have to score goals to win games. You can do that.'

"In the last period, with the West Ham goal and Old Trafford and here, it is so important."

City established an all-time English league record with a 15th consecutive win at the Liberty Stadium and Guardiola recognises his team scoring from all areas as a key factor in their success.

"He [Silva] is enjoying scoring goals and that is so important. We cannot just depend on [strikers] Gabriel [Jesus] and Sergio [Aguero]," he told a news conference.

"Our wingers score a lot of goals, our attacking midfielders, everybody must go there to try to score goals.

"Last season we scored few from set-pieces and this season we are scoring a lot. We can score on the counter-attacks. We have many options to score goals and that is so important for us."

City host Tottenham on Saturday, with their lead over Manchester United at the top of the table standing at 11 points.