When Storm Arwen hit Etihad with snow, it was probably appropriate for Manchester City to continue playing with the icy beliefs of the champions who are confident in holding the crown.
After comfortably dispatching one of his rivals to the Champions League in the middle of the week, Pep Guardiola’s title candidate did the same for one of the early overachievers of the Premier League season. Even though it’s too early to say that West Ham’s bubble burst, David Moyes and his players quickly realized that the air was a bit thin at this level.
As the 2-1 scoreline suggests, this wasn’t shameful to the visitor. Ilkay Gundoan’s first-half strike seemed to be the only goal of the game with the blazing momentum of the second half, with alternative Fernandino adding a second and the comfort of Manuel Lanzini’s spectacular downtime. had.
However, that 2-1 does not really reflect the city’s superiority. From time to time, abandonment seemed to be West Ham’s best hope for avoiding defeat. This was not the first time this fixture had been affected by the recent bad weather. Last February, due to strong winds and heavy rains in Storm Ciara, the meeting between the two camps in Etihad was postponed to the morning of the match. I managed to kick off this time, but there was a moment when I was wondering if I could hear the last whistle.
What started as a light dusting became a white carpet as the first half progressed. The complex pattern of city passage and movement was etched across the pitch, much like a real heatmap. The area around the touchline and penalty area gradually began to disappear, and the bright yellow ball was not bright enough to be clearly seen.
Referee Michael Oliver was in the ears of ground staff half-time. At that point, it seemed that the procedure could be completed.
The city did everything with their power to ensure that the show continued, especially as they had leads worthy of protection. Gundoan’s first goal in six games was difficult to find in the crowded snow from the stand, but he perfectly timed the side foot finish to change the low cross of Riyad Mahrez. It’s all made possible by João Cancelo’s latest masterpiece, a 40-yard crossfield pass to find Mahrez on the right. They are supposed to occur weekly.
West Ham was competitive up to that point, and Michail Antonio was essential to the game plan based on deep defense and direct counterattack, but David Moyes’ side still acknowledged many opportunities. Mahrez, who had already seen no offside goals allowed, hit the woodwork before the break, but Ben Johnson scored a goal and Gabriel Jesus shot off the line.
To give the city’s ground staff the opportunity to clear the surface, the intervals have been extended by 10 minutes and, beneficially, the sky has begun to clear. By the time both players reappeared, there was only one patch left to clear in the middle of the pitch. Applause for their efforts came from the four corners of Etihad and was the only one that could be described as “warm” in the game.
When the match resumed, Citi made a second push and canceled the contest, but Antonio left the pass halfway deep, allowing Gundoan to launch a counterattack. The striking Raheem Sterling low cross behind West Ham’s receding defense set Aaron Cresswell to slip in to clear the line and in the process just turn his back on the post to finish Jesus. Did.
It was the best the city could collect until the final stages, but West Ham couldn’t recall any more. Ederson was put into action only by a powerful Declan Rice strike from the range.
Fernandinho went well in the second half, picking up Gundoan’s pass after a decent work in a short corner of the city and showing a low arrow in the lower left corner of the goal. Guardiola finally got the right two-goal cushion on his side, which was cut in half on the final kick and Lansini’s half volley looped out of Ederson’s reach.
The city has been hit by the cold, but I feel the season is starting to heat up after this fifth impressive victory in every tournament.
Manchester West Ham scored points by Ilkay Gundoan and Fernandinho and final score
Source link Manchester West Ham scored points by Ilkay Gundoan and Fernandinho and final score