Manchester City had to rely on a late winner once again to secure victory over struggling West Ham. The manner of the victory won’t matter for fans, however, as it now extends the Blues’ winning run to 13 Premier League games, equalling a league record.
City’s lethargic start to the game saw them rarely threaten the Hammers’ goal, with a deflected David Silva strike the only big chance. After Adrian tipped the Spaniard’s effort over the bar, Michael Antonio almost caused trouble for the hosts after he latched onto Aaron Cresswell’s freekick but was caught offside.
West Ham’s opener came just before the break, as Angelo Ogbonna rose highest to head in Cresswell’s delicate cross. City could have been level before halftime, had Aguero managed to convert the chance given to him by Silva’s through ball, or had he stayed onside.
City were stronger in the second half, and within 10 minutes of the restart, Nicolas Otamendi turned home Gabriel Jesus’ low cross after the Brazilian produced some good work down the right-hand side. The hosts continued to pile on the pressure until De Bruyne’s curling cross found Silva, who acrobatically finished into the bottom right corner.
Here are the player ratings following a nervous and challenging home fixture.
GK: Ederson – 8
Our goalkeeper was characteristically excellent today. He almost produced an out-of-this-world save to Ogbonna’s header and made several more essential stops including a diving save to meet Marko Arnautovic’s late effort.
Kyle Walker – 6
Walker failed to impact the game really, but would always struggle to do so from right-back.
Nicolas Otamendi – 7
Did well to score his 5th goal in a City shirt, but was unconvincing during the full 90 minutes.
Eliaquim Mangala – 6
Mangala was always going to be a worry going into the game, and despite some good defensive actions he didn’t cover himself in glory today.
Danilo – 5
A lack of minutes looks to have taken a toll on the left-back, as he failed to produce any quality, especially going forward.
Fabian Delph – 7
Although not his most exceptional game, Delph worked hard as ever and kept the ball moving well in possession.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7.5
Like Delph, De Bruyne did not have his best game, but that’s probably because his standards are so high. His cross for David Silva’s winner, however, was fantastic.
David Silva – 8 (MOTM)
The Spaniard did well to carve out some chances against West Ham’s resolute defence. His movement to get on the end of De Bruyne’s pass for the goal was also impressive.
Raheem Sterling – 7
One of the few players to really ‘get at’ West Ham. Also linked up well with Gabriel Jesus to help create our first goal.
Leroy Sane – 7
Quiet in the first half but came alive a bit more in the second period. Fans who remember Zabaleta’s shakiness last season will be frustrated about Sane’s reluctance to take on the Argentine more often.
Sergio Aguero – 4
West Ham’s game plan meant that Aguero was never going to play a prominent role. That being said, the striker was disappointing and definitely could have done more with the ball when it was at his feet.
Gabriel Jesus – 8
The youngster was full of energy and produced some real quality to supply Nicolas Otamendi with the assist for our first goal.
Fernandinho – N/A – not enough time
Bernardo Silva – N/A – not enough time