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…]

West Ham v Fulham Match Report 22 February 2019

Fulham suffered their ninth straight loss in London derbies as they went down 3-1 to local rivals West Ham at the London Stadium on Friday night.

The Hammers made only one change, leaving out former Fulham defender Ryan Fredericks for Pablo Zabaleta at right back, while Fulham chose to give a former Irons player Havard Nordtveit a debut, with the Norwegian lining up in central defence for the visitors.

Zabaleta had a horror start to the game with a terrible backpass in the very first minute of the game, but fortunately for West Ham, Ryan Babel was not able to take advantage as Lukasz Fabianski managed to use his head to deny the former Liverpool star.

However Babel did get on the scoresheet a few minutes later. Between Cresswell and Ogbonna, no one really attempted to mark the Dutchman, and he got onto the end of a fine cross from Ryan Sessegnon to put Fulham 1-0.

West Ham started slowly and it was Fulham who produced much of the play in the first quarter of the game. However things changed with Javier Hernandez’s 29th minute equaliser- the Mexican appeared to use his hand, but the goal stood, and with that the game shifted into West Ham’s favour.

Issa Diop had given Fulham a warning when he had headed wide from a 7th minute corner, but the Cottagers’ defence didn’t appear to have learnt the lesson, and paid for it when the Frenchman scored his first Premier League goal and put the home side 2-1 up.

West Ham appeared content to hold on to their lead in the second half. Fulham had one excellent chance in the 67th minute but Aleksandar Mitrovic, fine player that he is, was no match for the pace of Ryan Fredericks, who had replaced Zabaleta at half time, and that opportunity was gone as quickly as it had been created.

The final fifteen minutes saw the much awaited return of Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine showed some delightful touches as West Ham began to pile the pressure. Marko Arnautovic went close twice, only to be denied by Sergio Rico, but the Hammers finally got their third, with some horrendous Fulham defending allowing Michail Antonio a free header in the box and the winger marked his 100th appearance with a goal.

Much welcome return to winning ways for West Ham, but as for Fulham, they were pushed closer to the drop. They weren’t too bad here, but the individual defending for each of West Ham’s goals was horrible, and at Premier League level, you get punished swiftly, as the Cottagers discovered at the London Stadium in front of a 59,950 strong crowd- West Ham’s biggest of the current season.

West Ham 3 (Hernandez, Diop, Antonio) beat Fulham 1 (Babel)

West Ham 2-2 Brighton | Super Subs rescue point for Hammers against Seagulls

West Ham picked up their first ever Premier League point against Brighton as they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Chris Houghton’s men at the London Stadium.

Despite losses to Watford and Burnley, December had still been a very productive month for the Hammers- only league leaders Liverpool took more points than them in that period, and the 15 points Manuel Pellegrini’s men picked up was more than the 12 they had in the previous four months put together.

The Hammers were looking for a win to start off the New Year against Brighton, a team that had won all three Premier League clashes between the two sides before this clash. Pellegrini made three chances to his side- bringing in Pablo Zabaleta in defence, Pedro Obiang in the middle of the park, and Andy Carroll upfront to partner Marko Arnautovic. New signing Samir Nasri was on the bench. [Read more…]

West Ham 0-2 Watford Match Report- Hornets break Hammers’ four game winning run

On paper, this was a battle between two pretty equal teams. Both were neck and neck in the league standings, and their managers- Manuel Pellegrini and Javi Gracia, once coached together at Villarreal. And it was a pretty even clash that could’ve probably gone either way, but eventually saw Watford come away with all three points in front of 56,833 fans at the London Stadium. [Read more…]

Fulham 0-2 West Ham Match Report | Abject Cottagers defending hands Hammers fourth straight win

New Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri has massive, massive problems. His side created far more chances (16 shots to West Ham’s 6), but were let down by two horror moments of first half defending. West Ham didn’t have too many chances, but as Manuel Pellegrini remarked after the game, clinically took the ones they had. It’s the hallmark of a good team, and the Hammers moved into the top ten with a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage- their fourth straight victory on the bounce.

Pellegrini made only one change, bringing in Michail Antonio upfront for the injured Lucas Perez. Fulham had Andre Frank Anguissa suspended and Ryan Sessegnon injured, and Ranieri brought in Calum Chambers and Aboubakar Kamara into the starting lineup. The Italian chose to keep faith with the same backline that had struggled against Man Utd, which in hindsight, proved to be a terrible decision. He could’ve played Christie at right back instead of Odoi, who had a torrid evening against the in-form Felipe Anderson. [Read more…]