West Ham – Manchester City was a surprisingly tight clash, as the Hammers took the lead and City fought back for a point.
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Michail Antonio’s acrobatic finish gave West Ham the lead, but substitute Phil Foden finished well to grab a point for Manchester City.
The draw means that West Ham stay above Man City in the table on goal difference as they have eight points from their first six games of the season, and Man City have eight from five outings.
1. Antonio, West Ham stay red-hot: Only Harry Kane (12) has scored more than Antonio’s 11 goals since the PL restart in June and he is leading this West Ham resurgence. A fine overhead kick set West Ham on their way and they are now four games unbeaten with wins against Leicester and Wolves and draws with Tottenham and Man City. They are solid defensively, a threat on the break and are punching about their weight.
2. Sterling can’t provide finishing touch: Aguero was hooked off at half time as he battles his way back to full fitness, and while Foden provided a cutting edge in attack, Sterling was tasked with getting in-behind the West Ham defense and trying to provide the finishing touch. He couldn’t. With Aguero not fully fit and Gabriel Jesus injured, City lack a cutting edge. They had a lot of the ball but couldn’t break West Ham down. Sterling is better making his runs from deep and City are asking plenty of players to play in roles that aren’t their best.
3. City lose more ground: This is their worst start to a PL season under Pep and their worst start for six years. It seems like the hangover from being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarterfinal stage in August remains, as injuries have hit City hard but they look sluggish and disjointed. Guardiola will take solace that his team have only conceded twice in the PL in their last three games. They have tightened up defensively but still look far from their imperious best.
An even start saw both teams have chances a Raheem Sterling and Antonio both started attacks.
Antonio then finished one off in fine fashion with an overhead kick from Coufal’s cross as he got the better of Ruben Dias.
Joao Cancelo then did brilliantly down the left to work some space and whip in a wonderful cross which Riyad Mahrez could not finish.
West Ham were dangerous on the break and for all of Man City’s possession, they barely tested Lukasz Fabianski.
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Early on in the second half things changed quickly as first Cancelo set up half time substitute Foden to control, swivel and smash home to make it 1-1.
And moments later Antonio was forced off with a reoccurrence of a right hamstring injury.
Andriy Yarmolenko, on for Antonio, smashed a shot over as West Ham stuck to their task admirably.
Kevin de Bruyne came off the bench late on to try and win it for Man City, as he hit a free kick on target but Fabianski saved. West Ham had chances at the other end as they were dangerous from set piece situations.
Fabianski then saved late on as Kevin de Bruyne surged forward and played in Sterling but his first touch was heavy and allowed West Ham’s goalkeeper to save.
Mahrez hit the outside of the post in the 93rd minute as Fabianski kept it out.