Manchester City secured a narrow victory over an in-form West Ham United despite horrible playing conditions.
Manchester City kept the pressure at the top of the table with a sound victory over fourth-placed West Ham United. After Liverpool’s win on Saturday, it was important for Pep Guardiola’s side to come up with a viable response against the Hammers, who have been in top form this season.
Manchester City were aware of the problems the Hammers could cause and set about with their usual attacking pressure. The weather conditions were horrible at the Etihad as halfway through the first half, with the field was covered in thick snow, with the ball barely visible on the television screens.
Riyad Mahrez found space and sent in a hopeful low cross which Ilkay Gundogan was on hand to tuck in. With the lead with Manchester City, Guardiola set out to attack further, although his team could not double their advantage quickly. West Ham had their moments to net an equaliser, but Said Benrahma, in particular, missed a glorious opportunity.
Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell made terrific goalmouth clearances in the first period, as the game went down to the wire with Manchester City leading. Fernandinho came off the bench to score a brilliant goal to double the lead. The two-goal cushion was reduced to one when Manuel Lanzini scored a wonder goal with the very last kick of the game. Here’s how the players fared as Manchester City beat West Ham United at the Etihad.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 28, 2021
Ederson Moraes: 6/10
Ederson was a quiet passenger for most parts but was sharp when called into action. He made one good save from a long ranger by Rice while guarding the area in disastrous playing conditions.
Kyle Walker: 6/10
Walker had a comfortable time at the back, as Arthur Masuaku stayed deep rather than foraying into the attacking third. He produced a very good effort that went just wide in the first half.
Ruben Dias: 6.5/10
Dias proved again what a solid defender he is, especially in one on one situations — he dealt with Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio’s threat expertly while pushing the defensive line higher to apply pressure on the opposing players.
Aymeric Laporte: 6/10
Laporte looked a bit shaky in defence when dealing with Antonio and Pablo Fornals. However, he proved to be a handful from set-pieces while also hitting the bar once. He misses the next game after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season.
Joao Cancelo: 7/10
Snow or not, Cancelo’s passing seems to get better with every game. The key pass to Mahrez leading up to the opener was just brilliant.
Ilkay Gundogan: 8/10
Gundogan is slowly hitting the goalscoring form of last season, having notched his fifth in nine games for club and country. He got into the box to receive the ball and slot it home. He should have had another in the first half, had Mahrez passed instead of shooting.
15 – Ilkay Gündogan has scored 15 non-penalty goals in 37 Premier League appearances since the start of last season; the most of any midfielder, ahead of Bruno Fernandes in second place (13 in 49 apps). Fox. pic.twitter.com/tHpQOcHOMi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 28, 2021
Yet another improved performance from Manchester City’s anchor, who kept things simple and gained control of the midfield. He broke up play with regularity and kept progressing the ball well to become his team’s primary link on the pitch.
Bernardo Silva: 7/10
Silva moved around with his usual ease, trying to find spaces and exploiting them. He tried to create some chances and registered two key passes for his work.
Gabriel Jesus: 6.5/10
After many games on the right, Jesus was back playing as the central striker, as Guardiola decided to bring Mahrez back into the fold. He was pretty unlucky, considering he had two efforts cleared off the line.
Riyad Mahrez: 7.5/10
Back in a starting lineup in the Premier League, Mahrez wreaked havoc from the right-hand side. Always an outlet to receive the ball and looked like a threat every time he entered the box. Mahrez got the assist for the opening goal scored by Gundogan.
Raheem Sterling: 6/10
Sterling was causing problems from the left side and was expected to score, having done so in the last three games. However, he never got close to finding the back of the net, with his end product was sorely missing.
Fernandinho produced a fantastic finish to wrap up the game, which, as it turned out, proved the winner after Lanzini’s late, wonder strike.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 28, 2021
West Ham United
Lukasz Fabianski: 5.5/10
Fabianski was the busier of the two goalkeepers and had some good and bad moments to contend with. He kept the scoreline at 1-0 right until late but could not do much to stop either goal.
Ben Johnson: 6/10
Johnson had his work cut out by Manchester City’s pressure building, with Cancelo, in particular, causing all sorts of problems. He contributed decently while defending and made a terrific goalmouth clearance to deny Jesus.
Craig Dawson: 6.5/10
Dawson stood strong in the face of Manchester City’s relentless attack, showing excellent positional awareness. He made seven clearances during the game.
Kurt Zouma: 5.5/10
Zouma could handle the pressure inside the box but lacked in controlling Manchester City’s attacking onslaught.
Aaron Cresswell: 6/10
Cresswell was substituted early but got applauded for keeping the ball out with a goalmouth clearance to deny Jesus. He hurt himself in the process after colliding with the post.
Tomas Soucek: 5.5/10
Soucek ran the mile and kept trying to get some sense of control from Rodri in midfield. The central midfield is the place where West Ham lost the game.
Declan Rice: 5/10
Much like Soucek, Rice worked hard, albeit without any reward for it in the end. In hindsight, it was a good performance from the West Ham skipper who could sustain the pressure in such a game.
Said Benrahma: 4/10
Benrahma failed to create much, although he missed a golden chance to score when Antonio laid a ball for him, with his first touch failed him miserably.
Pablo Fornals: 5.5/10
If someone looked likely to create a good chance for West Ham, it was Fornals. He did try his best for most parts but failed to provide the spark.
Michail Antonio: 6/10
Causing panic in the opposition box has become his trademark when attacking. Antonio was physical in his approach, although he did find it a bit hard to battle Dias on many occasions.
Arthur Masuaku: 6/10
Masuaku worked hard after being deployed on the left. He might have to take the blame for the opening goal as he failed to track the run of Mahrez.
Manuel Lanzini: 6/10
Lanzini scored a terrific goal at the very end. The strike was a mere consolation, as it turned out as it was the game’s final moment.
Take-outs from today:
– Fabiański's form is still on an up
– Lanzini has to be a starter next game, doesn't matter if it's for Fornals, Benrahma or Soucek (who looked very slow)
– Dawson – Zouma can't happen again. Diop is established at LCB so play him there with Zouma at RCB
— Alan Rzepa (@alanrzepa) November 20, 2021
Vladimir Coufal: 6/10
Coufal did well to soak up Man City’s pressure.
Jarrod Bowen: 6/10
Moyes sent Bowen to introduce some spark in attack as the Hammers searched for an equaliser. He failed to create much after coming on.