City Still Have Enough For Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Thursday 20 Feb 2020 12:40:00
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West Ham United's draw with Brighton and Hove Albion in their last Premier League game dropped them into the relegation zone and that is where they remain after Wednesday night's 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium.

David Moyes made one change from the side that faced the Seagulls on 1 February, as he went with a five-man midfield and included Arthur Masuaku in place of Sébastien Haller. The Frenchman dropped to the bench, meaning Michail Antonio was employed as the lone striker. 

There was also a place amongst the substitutes for deadline day recruit Jarrod Bowen, while Felipe Anderson was back in the matchday squad after a month out with injury.

With both teams having returned from their winter break early due to the postponement of this fixture ten days earlier, together with the hosts coming to terms with the news that they would be banned from European competition for the next two seasons, it was difficult to predict what sort of game to expect but Josep Guardiola's men were on the front foot right from the kick-off. 

They wasted a good chance to go ahead with only six minutes gone. Gabriel Jesus ran onto a through ball from David Silva but took too long and missed the chance to beat visiting goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański which meant that Ryan Fredericks was able to get a crucial block in.

The same player was presented with another opportunity just eight minutes later but this time, the Hammers were thankful to Aaron Cresswell who thwarted him with two more timely interceptions.

In truth, the Citizens should have been out of sight before they eventually broke the deadlock. Right on the half-hour mark, Roderigo met Kevin De Bruyne's corner with a glancing header at the far post.

West Ham were thankful to only be a goal down at half-time and they were just hoping to keep the scoreline respectable going into the second-half.

As the first fourty five minutes progressed, the East Londoners were gradually finding their rhythm and they should have equalised just minutes after the break. Declan Rice made a great run upfield and played in Antonio. Unfortunately for the travelling support though, Nicolás Otamendi was in the right place to clear the danger,

Moyes was forced into his first change with an hour gone as Fredericks appeared to dislocate his shoulder and had to be replaced by Pablo Zabaleta.

Two minutes later, Guardiola's side scored their second. After Bernardo Silva had fired over, he was involved again; setting up De Bruyne who took hold of possession and fired past Fabiański with the aid of a slight deflection off Cresswell.

Jesus was still on the lookout for a goal with thirteen minutes to go. He did well to run into space and bring the ball down in the area but once again, Fabiański denied him.

Shortly after, Moyes introduced Bowen into the action, as the former Hull City winger replaced Antonio but he was unable to make any real impact as the hosts bounced back after consecutive defeats in all competitions.

The Hammers are not back in action until Monday night and as if the trip to Manchester wasn't enough, they now have to come up against Liverpool at Anfield.

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