Manchester City 2 – 0 West Ham
Report By Adam Brown ( Football With Brownie)
They say there’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal and with a football animal called Manchester City coming away from a bruising encounter with UEFA over the weekend it was probably the best for all concerned that they had this rearranged fixture against struggling West Ham to focus upon.
Pep Guardiola made five changes to the side that lost to Tottenham with Laporte, Mendy, David Silva, Bernardo Silva and Jesus all stepping into the team. Raheem Sterling missing out on the matchday squad through injury, while Oleksandr Zinchenko serving suspension. Meanwhile, West Ham manager made just the one change with Masuaku replacing Haller in the starting line-up, while new boy Jarrod Bowen started on the bench following his deadline-day move from Hull City.
From the first kick to the last it was always going to be one winner as Manchester City in a half empty Etihad Stadium didn’t feel the need to get out of third gear in order to collect all three points. Within the first twenty minutes Kevin De Bruyne was producing magic not seen on TV since the days of Paul Daniels and Debbie Mcgee as he was threading quick through passes to the likes of Aguero, Jesus and David Silva in order to create the opening goal, in fact his performance was clear evidence that the off-field issues surrounding the club was certainly put on the back burner for 90 minutes at least. Another player who forced the game from the start was full back Mendy as Manchester City constantly pounded the West Ham right hand side as Pep and his coaches deliberately targeted West Hams Fredericks as his defensive duties have been questionable all season. With all the pressure City put on the visitors what was actually surprising was that it took them half an hour to brake the deadlock, Diop nodded De Bruyne’s initial corner out of play but the Belgians second delivery picked out Rodri at the front post who glanced the ball into the bottom right hand corner. City continued to press from the restart and in the 38th minute Bernardo Silva swung a teasing delivery into the Wet Ham box and David Silva just managed to beat Fabianski to the ball but unfortunately for him he poked his effort wide of the target.
The second half started just as the first half finished with the vast majority of possession in Citys favour. On the 61st minute Bernardo Silva skipped inside before attempting to bend his strike into the top left-hand corner, but his effort was just off target. However it was only 60 seconds later that City got their second goal. Bernardo Silva linked up well with De Bruyne on the right-hand side of the box, and the Belgian then surged onto the ball before firmly sweeping it beneath the West Ham goalkeeper from just outside the six yard box. City then should have had a third in the 77th Minute as De Bruyne the Belgian magician produced a moment of brilliance when he bypassed the West Ham defence with a clipped throughball to Jesus at the far post but the striker lashed at his effort which was palmed away by Goalkeeper Fabianski.
City will now be looking to build on this build on this result when they face Leicester over the weekend in a key clash for second spot, while Guardiolas side face Real Madrid in the Champions League tie next week. Meanwhile, things don’t get much easier for West Ham as they must now aim to bounce back from this defeat when they travel to face league leaders Liverpool on Monday night.