Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United: League leaders recover to rack up another victory

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Manchester City recovered from going behind to beat West Ham United 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening.

Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders started slowly in their latest match and went into half-time behind as Angelo Ogbonna netted in the 45th minute. Goals from Nicolas Otamendi and David Silva in the second half turned the game around though as the Sky Blues continued their relentless pursuit of their third crown.

Moyes’ men impress at the Etihad

The first talking point of the game came only a few minutes after kick-off. Match-winner against Huddersfield Town, Raheem Sterling, went down in the box but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty kick. It was however the visiting Hammers who created the best opportunity of the opening moments. From a corner, Michail Antonio latched onto Cheikou Kouyaté’s knock-down but was stretching too much and diverted the ball over.

The ex-Nottingham Forest man then attempted to steal in at the near post but only served to collide with City stopper Ederson in the process. David Silva was eventually gifted a sight at goal from distance but his powerful shot took a deflection off of Declan Rice and Adrián did well to tip over the bar.

Hammer blow just before half-time

His opposite number Ederson then did well as Manuel Lanzini looked to punish a mistake from Silva. The Brazilian pushed away a powerful shot from the winger as the first half drew to a close.

There was however time for David Moyes’ men to snatch a shock lead at the Etihad Stadium. Aaron Cresswell found space on the right side. His cross was excellent and found Angell

o Ogbonna in the centre of the penalty area. The Italian powered past Ederson with an thunderous header and the ball nestled into the bottom corner.

Guardiola reacts after the break

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola made a swift switch after the break as Gabriel Jesus was introduced for the struggling Danilo. The substitution clearly paid off for the hosts as they drew level only 12 minutes into the second period. Excellent build-up play between him and Sterling saw the former find space in the penalty area. The 20-year-old cut back to defender Nicolás Otamendi who stabbed home to level matters.

It started to look ominous for West Ham as City started to pour forwards. Leroy Sané cut in from wide and unleashed a fierce drive which Adrián palmed away. The German then tested the Hammers’ stopper yet again not long after but he proved to be a difficult opponent to beat as West Ham aimed to hold firm.

The Citizens should have been ahead half-way through the second-half but an inexplicable miss from the red-hot Sterling kept the scores level.  The English winger had done well to react to a parried effort from Jesus but could not guide his shot into the empty net.

Another late win for the would-be champions was sealed with David Silva producing an acrobatic finish within the final ten minutes. Kevin De Bruyne played an excellent floated ball over the Hammers’ defence, and falling backwards the Spaniard prodded into the net. Diafra Sakho could have pulled the visitors level in the closing seconds but put Marko Arnautovic’s cross just wide and City held out for another huge victory.

Final Thoughts

Manchester City have certainly found a new way of winning games. Their character in this game indicates that the Sky Blues really could go all the way and lift the title. Their attacking play was certainly on display in this game, with goals coming from all over the pitch. They will be delighted with yet another victory and stretching the advantage at the top of the table.

West Ham United will be proud of their display against the all-conquering league-leaders. Whilst Moyes’ men did not really present too many problems, a respectable performance should breed optimism. The Hammers remain 19th and three points off safety.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ederson (7); Danilo (5) (Jesus (7), 45′), Mangala (6), Otamendi (8), Walker (7); D. Silva (8), Delph (6), De Bruyne (7); Sané (7) (B. Silva (N/A), 90+3′), Agüero (6) (Fernandinho (N/A), 85′), Sterling (6).

West Ham United: Adrián (5); Zabaleta (6), Rice (6), Ogbonna (7), Cresswell (6); Fernandes (5), Kouyaté (6) (Sakho (5), 42′), Obiang (5), Masuaku (5); Lanzini (6) (Arnautovic (6), 69′), Antonio (5) (Ayew (N/A), 88′).

Goals: Ogbonna (45′), Otamendi (57′), D. Silva (83′)

Referee: Mike Dean

Yellow Cards: Rice (17′), De Bruyne (59′), Adrian (90+4′), Jesus (90+5′)

Red Cards: N/A


Daniel Orme

Daniel is currently a second-year football journalism student at the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately four years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.



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