Manchester City 3-1 West Ham

28 Aug

Fernandinho


Fernandinho’s goal was the 15th of his Manchester City career in all competitions

Manchester City continued their 100% start to the season with a victory over West Ham that took them to the top of the Premier League.

City scored first when Raheem Sterling finished off a superb team move and Fernandinho headed in a second from Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick.

West Ham pulled a goal back in the second half when Michail Antonio nodded in Arthur Masuaku’s cross.

Sterling added his second late on when he stroked home from a tight angle.

Relive City’s 3-1 win over West Ham

The season may be in its infancy but already the title contenders have put down a few markers with three games gone.

Chelsea and Manchester United both secured victories on Saturday, which turned the focus on Pep Guardiola’s side before the international break, and they responded with a determined display.

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Man City 3-1 West Ham: Best Premier League performance so far – Pep Guardiola

A blistering start – underpinned by the attacking triumvirate of Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Nolito – yielded a slick goal finished off by Sterling.

It was not just the polished passing and intense pressing which caught the eye. City’s second goal ensured four of their nine Premier League goals this season have come from set-pieces.

That they could not convert their first-half dominance into more goals will be mildly concerning to Guardiola as they allowed West Ham back into the contest after the break.

However, a steely response to see out the victory when put under pressure, before Sterling calmly passed the ball into the net in injury time, will have pleased the City boss.

Rejuvenated Sterling proving his worth

Last season Sterling did little to justify the £49m City paid Liverpool for him in July 2015, while Euro 2016 with England proved to be a nadir in a difficult 12 months.

Inevitably it led to questions about whether his burgeoning talent would ever be realised at City, and more pertinently in the short term whether he would feature in Guardiola’s immediate plans.

The Catalan’s ruthless streak – as goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Yaya Toure are finding out – has come to the fore early in his tenure.

Sterling, though, has been rejuvenated by Guardiola and his two goals put the gloss on another impressive display.

With three assists so far in this campaign, he has had a hand in five goals in four games.

By contrast, he was involved in just four goals in his last 17 appearances under Guardiola’s predecessor Manuel Pellegrini.

If Sterling’s form can be sustained over the course of the 2016-17 season, he will emerge as a key component in City’s quest for silverware.

Gritty West Ham lacking cutting edge

Touch map<!–

West Ham’s lack of cutting edge in the penalty area is shown on the above touch map. Strikers Enner Valencia and Ashley Fletcher (right) only managed six touches in the box combined – just one more than Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (left) did on his own.

There was every chance Slaven Bilic’s side could have been blown away by City, such was the home side’s imperious start, but they stood firm.

It was a spirited showing from the visitors, particularly after their disappointing exit from the Europa League on Thursday, and the Etihad crowd shifted uneasily once Antonio pulled a goal back.

Had the Hammers possessed a more potent goal threat they may well have left Manchester with more to show for their efforts.

Enner Valencia and Ashley Fletcher showed plenty of willing but the lack of cutting edge emphasised why Bilic has brought in Italy striker Simone Zaza from Juventus on a season-long loan.

With only a few days left before the transfer window closes, Bilic may yet feel the desire to strengthen his goalscoring options further.

Will Aguero be suspended for the Manchester derby?

Winston Reid, Sergio Aguero<!–

West Ham defender Winston Reid was unable to continue after he was caught by Sergio Aguero’s elbow

The only sour point for Guardiola will be the prospect of a possible suspension for Aguero for the Manchester derby on 10 September.

Aguero lashed out with an elbow on Winston Reid which caught the West Ham defender in the throat. The incident was missed by referee Andre Marriner while neither manager claimed to have seen it.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit Robbie Savage believes the Argentina forward may be handed a retrospective ban when the Football Association reviews the video evidence.

“The replays don’t look good. I think he’s going to be in trouble,” Savage said.

“Only Aguero knows if he’s elbowed Winston Reid. I can’t say he’s done it on purpose but on the replays it looks like he swung his arm back and caught him in the throat.”

Man of the match – David Silva (Manchester City)

David Silva<!–

Raheem Sterling’s brace made him the obvious choice but City’s heartbeat throughout the game was David Silva. The Spain midfielder dictated the tempo of the play and played a role in both of Sterling’s goals. Back to his best after a relatively subdued campaign last season.

What they said:

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “At 2-1, the emotions, not the tactics, went in. We created many chances, I don’t know how many shots we had but the performance in general was real good with or without the ball. With the quality of our players, we can be satisfied.”

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Man City 3-1 West Ham: Second half performance gives the Hammers hope – Bilic

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic: “We stayed in the game. I wasn’t happy at half-time, I asked the guys to show character and spirit and a different mentality, which they did. Praise for the team for the second half performance.”

What’s next?

Jose Mourinho and Guardiola renew their rivalry in the Manchester derby when City face United at Old Trafford on Saturday, September 10 (12:30 BST). West Ham host Watford at the London Stadium later the same day (15:00 BST).

The stats you need to know:

  • This is only the second time in league history that both Manchester clubs have won their first three league games in the same season (also 2011-12).
  • Nolito has scored three and assisted two more in his first five games for Manchester City in all competitions.
  • Kevin de Bruyne has provided 15 assists since debuting for Man City, five more than any other player at the club in that time.
  • Fernandinho scored his first Premier League goal in 365 days – his last came against Watford on 29 August 2015.
  • Michail Antonio has scored a league-high eight headed goals in the Premier League since the start of 2015-16.
  • Since August 2015, no English midfielder has scored more Premier League goals than Antonio (10) – level with Tottenham’s Dele Alli.

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 3, West Ham United 1.

Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, West Ham United 1.

Attempt missed. Mark Noble (West Ham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Manuel Lanzini.

Offside, West Ham United. Ashley Fletcher tries a through ball, but Jonathan Calleri is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Ashley Fletcher (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Goal! Manchester City 3, West Ham United 1. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Silva.

David Silva (Manchester City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Samir Nasri.

Attempt missed. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by David Silva.

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by David Silva.

Substitution, Manchester City. Fernando replaces Sergio Agüero.

Offside, West Ham United. Manuel Lanzini tries a through ball, but James Collins is caught offside.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

Attempt blocked. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked.

Attempt saved. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergio Agüero with a through ball.

Offside, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Pablo Zabaleta is caught offside.

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernandinho.

Substitution, West Ham United. Jonathan Calleri replaces Winston Reid because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Winston Reid (West Ham United) because of an injury.

Substitution, Manchester City. Samir Nasri replaces Nolito.

Hand ball by Nolito (Manchester City).

Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Kevin De Bruyne.

Gaël Clichy (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United).

Substitution, West Ham United. Manuel Lanzini replaces Enner Valencia.

Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ashley Fletcher (West Ham United).

Substitution, Manchester City. Aleksandar Kolarov replaces John Stones because of an injury.

Goal! Manchester City 2, West Ham United 1. Michail Antonio (West Ham United) header from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Arthur Masuaku with a cross.

Offside, Manchester City. Nolito tries a through ball, but Sergio Agüero is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Enner Valencia (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sam Byram with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Foul by Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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