City love playing at the London Stadium, Haller looks promising & more- Five Talking Points from West Ham 0-5 Man City

West Ham’s opening league game of the 2019/20 season saw Manuel Pellegrini’s side go down 5-0 to defending champions Manchester City. The Hammers were pretty good for the first twenty odd minutes and were only a goal down at half time, but the floodgates opened after the interval once City got into their side.

Here are our talking points from this fixture.

City love playing at the London Stadium: Pep Guardiola’s men have now scored four or more goals against West Ham for the fifth game in succession at the London Stadium. Their record at this ground currently reads: Played 5, Won 5, Goals scored 22, Goals conceded 1.

While recent games at the Etihad between these two sides have been tightly fought, the ones at the London Stadium have been blowouts. It’s fast becoming one of City’s favourite grounds to play Premier League footy.

Sebastien Haller looks promising: Given City’s dominance, we didn’t really get to see much of West Ham’s new record signing, but he was impressive in the few instances he did get the ball. Strong, able to draw in defenders and has an eye for team mates around him. Also registered the Hammers’ first shot of this game with an attempted bicycle kick.

Questions remain over West Ham’s defence: While Manuel Pellegrini did strength his attack significantly with the additions of Fornals and Haller, there was little done on the defensive side of things. Youngster Goncalo Cardoso was their only signing in that department, and he didn’t even make the 18 here. [Read more…]

Diop and Balbuena re-united, First team to win at New Spurs Stadium & More- Talking Points from Tottenham v West Ham

West Ham became the first visiting team to win at the new Spurs stadium as they secured their first away league triumph of 2019 on Saturday afternoon. Michail Antonio’s fine finish midway through the second half gave the Hammers all three points against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Balbuena and Diop re-united: After a long time, Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop together played as a central defensive pair. The pairing between the Paraguayan and the young French star has been one of the bright points of West Ham’s season, and they were fantastic today as the Hammers secured a rare clean sheet. Balbuena denied Vincent Janssen a late equaliser with his clearance off the line, while Diop almost scored a great individual goal, striding from his own half into the opposition box, but was denied by Lloris.

Angelo Ogbonna has his moments, but tends to be inconsistent. Balbuena and Diop are clearly the way forward.

First away team to win at the New Spurs stadium: West Ham became the first away team to win at the new Spurs stadium, and Antonio’s goal was the first the Lilywhites have conceded at this ground. Nice little pub trivia stat in favour of the Hammers, who were also the first team to win against Arsenal at the Emirates.

All the more remarkable given that the Hammers had taken just one point from 8 league games on the road prior to this clash. [Read more…]

Talking Points and Media Player Ratings- West Ham 4-3 Huddersfield

West Ham avoided a major embarrassment at home against strugglers Huddersfield Town as Javier Hernandez’s brace helped them snatch a last gasp 4-3 win. Up against a Town side that hadn’t scored away from home since Boxing Day, the Hammers were 3-1 down midway through the second half before a late fightback saw them down Jan Siewert’s men. Here are our talking points from the game, as well as the player ratings from the media.

Fabian Balbuena needs to start soon: The Balbuena-Issa Diop partnership was one of the highlights of the season for the Hammers before the Paraguayan got injured. He’s now fit, but Pellegrini, perhaps out of loyalty to Angelo Ogbonna, has chosen to continue with the Italian’s partnership with young Frenchman Diop in the heart of defence.

There have been some good moments with the Ogbonna-Diop partnership, but the consistency that Pellegrini would like is missing. Together, the solidity you’d expect from a side wanting to challenge for Europe isn’t quite there- too many defensive lapses for the fans’ liking. [Read more…]

West Ham 2-0 Newcastle 2019- Poor Magpies crash to defeat

West Ham extended their unbeaten run at the London Stadium to five games as they beat a poor Newcastle side 2-0 on Saturday evening. The result took the Hammers above Everton, with the Toffees being leapfrogged in the league standings after they could only manage a draw in their fixture against Liverpool.

Manuel Pellegrini made five changes to the side that had suffered defeat in midweek to Man City, with Manuel Lanzini getting his first start for the club in nearly ten months. Newcastle however chose to stick with the same XI that had done the business against Burnley.

The pre-match predictions were a mixed bag, but many expected Newcastle to give the Hammers a real run for their money. Unfortunately, they were very poor in the first half, and failed to register even one shot on target before the interval.

Some clever West Ham play from a Robert Snodgrass corner saw the home side take the lead through young midfielder Declan Rice. [Read more…]

Soft penalty, Baptism by fire for Johnson & more- Talking points from Man City v West Ham

Man City followed up their Carabao Cup win over the weekend with a 1-0 triumph over Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham at the Etihad on Wednesday evening. It kept the Citizens in the race for the title, with the defending champions only one point behind leaders Liverpool, who hammered Watford 5-0 at Anfield.

Let’s take a look at the key talking points from this City v West Ham clash

A soft penalty to give away: Many expected City to boss this game, and few would’ve expected them to score just a single goal at the Etihad against the Hammers, and that too from the penalty spot. Coming into this game, City had scored 2 or more at home in EACH of their last fifteen games. [Read more…]