Fornals lies on the ground behind the wall for KdB free kick, no Lanzini minutes & more- Talking Points from West Ham 1-1 Man City October 23 2020

West Ham continued their impressive recent run as they held Pep Guardiola’s Man City to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium. Here are our talking points from this Game Week 6 fixture.

Pablo Fornals lying on the ground behind the wall for Kevin de Bruyne free kick:

This was an interesting tactic from West Ham, presumably to stop de Bruyne from going low when the wall jumped. The game was tied at 1-1 at that stage, with the Belgian maestro standing over the ball in a dangerous position. Will we see other teams adopting it in the future against KdB?

No minutes for Lanzini:

It was perhaps slightly surprising that Manuel Lanzini, the scorer of the stunning equaliser against Spurs last week, didn’t even make if off the bench for this clash.

Towards the end of the game, the Hammers had a very nice opportunity to make it 2-1, but a tired Pablo Fornals couldn’t quite execute a chip over City keeper Ederson in a 1v1 situation. Would a fresh Lanzini have been able to do that? Perhaps yes…

Speaking of substitutions, it was also worth noting that when Michail Antonio had to come off early in the second half, it was Andriy Yarmolenko who was his replacement and not Sebastien Haller. Yarmolenko stayed on the wing, with Jarrod Bowen occupying a more central position. When Haller did eventually come on, he had to wait for nearly TEN minutes for his first touch, and it was a defensive clearance at that!

Antonio stunner helps preserve Hammers’ unbeaten run:

West Ham had only two shots on target in the whole 90, and one was them was this overhead kick stunner from Michail Antonio to put them ahead in the 18th minute. Great technique and power to hold off Ruben Dias, and a beautiful finish to boot. Some doubts over whether Tomas Soucek had handled the ball in the lead up to the goal, but VAR didn’t intervene, and it was a fantastic strike.

Pep Guardiola and Man City name unchanged XI in back to back games for the first time since October 2017

Man City boss Pep Guardiola opted to keep faith with the same XI that had done the business in midweek against Porto in the Champions League, making it the first time since October 201 that he had picked the same lineup in successive games. A stunning stat that one!

MCI starting

Resolute defensive effort from West Ham

This was a strong defensive team effort from West Ham. Arthur Masuaku had a pretty good game, and made a key intervention in the 84th minute when Mahrez received the ball in a threatening position. When Masuaku gave the ball away, Fabianski did well to deny Raheem Sterling from close range. When Yarmolenko too gave the ball away with a poor back pass on the half way line, Ogbonna intervened to prevent Sterling from scoring.

City certainly had their chances and stepped up their intensity in the second half, but West Ham were terrific defensively and deserved their point on the balance of play.

An excellent draw for the Hammers, given their previous best result at this ground against City was actually a 4-1 defeat!

West Ham 1 (Antonio) Man City 1 (Phil Foden)

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