Sunday, May 26, 2024

West Ham 1-3 Manchester City: What Were The Main Talking Points As Pep Guardiola’s Side Extend On Their 100% Start At The London Stadium?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 16 Sep 2023

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While Manchester City might have had to go about things the hard way on Saturday afternoon, the Sky Blues extended on their 100% start to the new campaign as they claimed an action-packed 3-1 victory away at West Ham.

Despite entering the half-time break trailing a 1-0 deficit as James Ward-Prowse headed home in the 36th minute, Pep Guardiola’s men certainly came roaring back as they produced a second-half romp in the capital.

With big-money summer arrival Jeremy Doku notching his first Premier League strike just seconds after returning from the interval, the reigning champions didn’t look back as Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland dragged City to a hard-fought win in east London.

While Guardiola’s men might have now won each of their opening five Premier League appearances, West Ham will feel like they had done more than enough to snatch at least a point.

Putting in an eye-catching performance on home soil and causing City plenty of headaches, the Hammers’ 3-1 loss here is their first top-flight defeat since opening up the 2023/24 campaign.

In what was a thrilling encounter from the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon, we have taken a look at the key talking points.

City show their title resolve

Having to go about things the hard way on Saturday afternoon, there is no doubt that Guardiola will be most excited by the title resolve that his superstar squad demonstrated in east London.

Heading into September’s international break with a routine 5-1 romp at home against Fulham, the former Barcelona boss has certainly seen his side come flying out of the traps since opening the 2023/24 campaign.

Getting their hands on a maiden Champions League crown back on June 10th as they landed that famous 1-0 victory against Italian heavyweights Inter Milan, the Sky Blues also became the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions.

While some might have wondered if City would be able to find a similar level this time around, Saturday’s guests have won each of their opening five Premier League appearances and they are the only top-flight club that can boast a 100% start to proceedings.

Mounting a stellar second-half comeback here and riding what has been a continued wave of momentum on either side of the summer interval, Manchester City have already demonstrated why that are tipped as a leading contender to make even more domestic history this season.

Doku steals the show in the capital

While the record-breaking Haaland might have notched his seventh Premier League strike of the season here, it was City’s latest big-money attacking star who stole the show in east London.

Making the move from French outfit Rennes last month in a deal worth £54.4million, the Belgium international appears to have made an immediate impact for the defending champions.

Handed just his second Premier League start this weekend, the 21-year-old caused West Ham a string of issues and constantly had the beating of Vladimir Coufal down City’s lefthand side.

Demonstrating a rapid turn of speed and at the heart of everything positive that Guardiola’s squad produced at the London Stadium, the Spanish tactician has made it clear that Doku has a crucial role to play across all fronts.

While the Sky Blues might have been unable to call upon England international Jack Grealish here, Doku certainly proved that he is an immediate hit around the Etihad.

Plenty of positives in defeat for the Hammers

While David Moyes’ men might have eventually fallen short here and missed out on the chance to lay down another heavyweight marker, West Ham should taken plenty of positives away from an eye-catching performance at the London Stadium.

With the red-hot Ward-Prowse bagging his second Premier League strike nine minutes before the half-time break, the ex-Manchester United boss was rightfully filled with praise following Saturday’s hard-fought defeat.

Watching the likes of Kurt Zouma and Michail Antonio go close after returning from the interval, the Hammers have suffered just a single defeat from their opening five appearances and they have certainly gained plenty of plaudits.

Shocking many as they claimed back-to-back 3-1 victories against Chelsea and Brighton respectively last month, West Ham have clearly made a string of improvements since returning from the summer break.

Although Moyes’ men might face another stern examination next weekend when they travel to Anfield, they will arrive in the red half of Merseyside with the mood in their camp at a high.

Excited to get their Europa League group stage underway in midweek, Saturday’s hosts have already proven that they can firmly mix it with the Premier League elite going forward.

Match Report

West Ham: Areola, Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson, Alvarez, Bowen, Soucek, Ward-Prowse, Paqueta, Antonio

Subs: Kudus, Benrahma, Ings, Kehrer

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol, Silva, Rodri, Foden, Alvarez, Doku, Haaland

Subs: Ake, Bobb, Gomez, Nunes, Lewis

Goals: West Ham: Ward-Prowse (36’) – Manchester City: Doku (46’), Silva (76’), Haaland (86’)

Yellow Cards: West Ham: Alvarez, Soucek, Paqueta – Manchester City: Rodri, Gvardiol

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Andrew Madley


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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