City Too Strong For Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 04 Dec 2017 14:27:00
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It would have been a dream for West Ham United to win at The Etihad stadium on Sunday but unfortunately, it wasn't to be, as Manchester City maintained their unbeaten start by coming from behind to secure a 2-1 victory.

David Moyes made for changes to the team that were defeated by Everton five days ago, as Adrián filled in for Joe Hart, who was ineligible to play against his parent club. Declan Rice replaced the injured Winston Reid, while Edimilson Fernandes was preferred to Marko Arnautovic and Michail Antonio started ahead of André Ayew.

With regular skipper Mark Noble also missing because of a hip problem, former City favourite Pablo Zabaleta took the captaincy.

Due to Crystal Palace earning a point at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, the Hammers were desperate to try and get a win from this game.

They could have opened the scoring as early as the seventh minute, when Aaron Cresswell's corner was headed on by Cheikhou Kouyaté but despite stretching to reach the ball, Antonio could only send his effort over.

Nine minutes later however, he went even closer after Arthur Masuaku Crossed but the former Nottingham Forest man couldn't quite beat goalkeeper Ederson.

It took time for Josep Guardiola's side to get into their groove but thankfully, Adrián got a touch to David Silva's effort.

That was as good as it got for the hosts before the break, as West Ham went on the charge again through Manuel Lanzini but he was also thwarted by Ederson.

As if the injury situation for the Irons isn't bad enough, it got worse as Kouyaté picked up an injury, meaning Moyes had to change formation and bring Antonio into midfield, while Diafra Sakho replaced the Senegalese international. 

The visitors finally took a shock lead a minute before referee Mike Dean blew the whistle, as Angelo Ogbonna claimed his first Premier League goal for the club when he sent a powerful header past the helpless Ederson to set the away end cheering.

At half-time, the visitors went down to the dressing rooms having given their fans belief that they could yet cause a major upset.

The introduction of Gabriel Jesus during the break seemed to inspire the home side as they tried everything to get back into the match.

On 56 minutes, Adrián made a great save from Kevin De Bruyne's equally impressive effort but he could do little about Nicolas Otamendi's equalizer a minute later.

It was then clear that the Citizens wanted to finish the job off but the visitors weren't going to give up without a fight.

The Spaniard was keeping the hosts at bay by denying efforts from both Leroy Sane and Jesus with over 30 minutes to play.

Over the last week, Guardiola's side have scored some very late goals and with 83 minutes gone, they came up with another one. Silva raced into space and latched onto De Bruyne's pass, sending a superb volley past Adrián and after holding on for so long, the visitors were then left wondering what might have been.

West Ham continue their tough start to December on Saturday, as they have a London derby up next with the visit of Chelsea to Stratford for an early kick-off.

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