West Ham, who conceded at least 4 goals in each of their last 4 home games against Manchester City earned a hard fought point against Pep Gaurdiola’s men at the London stadium.
West Ham named the same starting XI who played in the dramatic comeback against Spurs on Matchday 5. Manchester City welcomed back Kevin De Bruyne on bench, as Pep picked the same XI who defeated Porto in the Champions League.
The visitors were quick off the pace as Mahrez and Walker were able to find spaces behind the West Ham defence with relative ease. Manchester City, as expected, started to dominate possession early in the game as Mahrez, Gundogan and Aguero combined well with slick moves, only for Gundogan to slash wide of the post. However, West Ham took the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute through Michail Antonio.
Soucek chased down a loose ball near the corner flag and cut it back to Coufal, whose cross was converted spectacularly by Antonio’s overhead kick. The West Ham manager was unimpressed with referee Anthony Taylor when Gundogan was not booked for a cynical tug on Declan Rice to prevent a counter-attack. West Ham started to grow in confidence after taking the lead, as Manchester City found it difficult to break down Hammers defence.
Pep replaced Aguero with Phil Foden as City upped the tempo to find the equaliser. Coufal was the first to go into referee’s book for his foul on Cancelo. City were on level terms in under 6 minutes when Cancelo slipped past Coufal and crossed to Foden, who swivelled and lashed home the equaliser. Things got worse for West Ham as they were enforced into a substitution when their goalscorer Antonio had to be replaced by Yarmlenko. City continued to dominate possession as West Ham resorted to counter-attacking football. Both teams decided to change personnel, as Bowen was replaced by Haller and Bernardo Silva was replaced by Kevin De Bruyne. City’s tempo started to drop off a bit as West Ham continued to hold their shape and counter-attack. The tactic almost paid off when Fornals was clean through the goal one on one with Ederson. However, the attempted chip over the goalkeeper ended up being a simple scoop into Ederson’s hands. Manchester City spurned a great chance just a minute later when De Bruyne slipped in Sterling to be one on one with Fabianski. The attacker’s heavy first touch allowed the goalkeeper to rush out and smother the effort. City couldn’t create any clear cut chances in the stoppage time as West Ham held to earn a point.
Pep informed his team started well, but couldn’t continue it after West Ham scored the opening goal. He added, ” In the second half we were much better. They defended so deep. But we had chances at the end. We move forward. We didn’t play bad except in the last ten minutes of the first half. We had the chances but we didn’t do it.“
In a setback for Manchester City, Pep confirmed Augero was withdrawn due to an injury which might see him sidelined for a few weeks.
David Moyes, who was delighted with his team’s performance acknowledged the fact their goal came against the run of play. He praised Antonio’s performance and said that their team defended well for most parts of the game against a quality side.