West Ham 0-4 Man City | Same number of attempts as City and eight times as many corners, but defeat!

The headline pretty much tells it all. West Ham haven’t been a walkover for top six sides in the Premier League this season, more so at home. The pre-game predictions for this game had City as easy winners. The end scoreline may not have suggested so, but West Ham gave Pep Guardiola’s men a fair run for their money. The Spanish gaffer even agreed in the end that his “City side were lucky” and “nowhere near their best”.

West Ham had the same number of attempts as City and had eight corners, compared to their solitary one, but were on the receiving end of a humbling 4-0 scoreline. A better attacking side with more lethal finishers all round- West Ham this season have been heavily reliant on Arnautovic and Anderson for goals, might have even upset City here.

In the absence of the suspended Robert Snodgrass, Pellegrini opted to start with Antonio in the middle playing off Arnautovic, and Anderson and Diangana on the wings. Mark Noble, back from a three game ban, was on the bench, with the Chilean gaffer opting for an attacking lineup to counter City rather than to defend and hope for a draw at the London Stadium.

West Ham lineup v Man City 2018

City boss Pep Guardiola also made a few changes, with Delph coming in at left back in the absence of the injured Mendy and Otamendi partnering Laporte in central defence. In midfield, Bernardo Silva’s injury allowed Ilkay Gundogan to join David Silva and Fernandinho in midfield. Upfront, Riyad Mahrez dropping to the bench, allowing Sterling and Sane on the wings.

Man City starting XI v West Ham 2018

We hate to single out a player, but Arthur Masuaku had a NIGHTMARE of a game. One could say he single handedly gifted City all three of their first half goals. He was hooked at the interval by Pellegrini, but this game was done and dusted by then!

Masuaku’s defensive frailties are well known, and some of his defending (see the game against Brighton for example) has left Hammers fans tearing their hair out. But the gaffer sees to prefer the DRC man to Aaron Cresswell, who is not without faults himself, but seems to commit fewer “blunders” than Masuaku. Cresswell seems more comfortable as part of a back three- the way he was employed towards the latter half of the 17/18 season. Perhaps some reinforcements needed in January?

We can’t obviously post the video here, but all three City goals had a Masuaku error involved. City had a field day on their right flank- West Ham were overrun in midfield having opted for a trio of Obiang, Rice and Antonio, and Felipe Anderson tends to shirk his defensive responsibilities at times, which made Masuaku’s task more hard.

West Ham had plenty of their own chances, but some poor finishing and lack of confidence (taking that extra second for a decision) cost them here.

Pellegrini threw on Lucas Perez and Javier Hernandez in the second half, but neither were able to turn things around, and in the end, Sane got a second, which was perhaps cruel on West Ham- this ended up as the same scoreline as the Liverpool game on the opening day of the season, but the Hammers were far, far better than they were against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

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