Premier League
KO: 14:00
15/05/2022
London Stadium
West Ham United
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West Ham United 2-2 Manchester City
Premier League, London Stadium, Sunday 15 May 2022

 

Jarrod Bowen scored two superb goals and Łukasz Fabiański saved a late penalty as West Ham United secured a heroic 2-2 Premier League draw with Manchester City in Mark Noble’s final home game as a Hammer.

Bowen continued his outstanding season with two well-taken strikes in the first half before Pep Guardiola’s title-chasers fought back to level midway through the second.

And it looked like City would complete their comeback when Anthony Taylor awarded the visitors a spot-kick on review for a Craig Dawson foul on Gabriel Jesus, only for Fabiański to fly high to his left and push Riyad Mahrez’s shot away.

By that time, David Moyes had introduced his 35-year-old Club captain for a farewell appearance – his 549th and possibly last in Claret and Blue.

Two hours earlier, the pre-match build-up centred around the iconic No16, with a stirring video featuring fellow Canning Town native and Hammer Danny Dyer, before the man himself was introduced and emerged from the tunnel with a tear in his eye and blowing kisses to his adoring fans.

A deafening rendition of ‘Bubbles’ introduced the teams and, when the game got underway, there were early chances for both. First Fabiański dived on Oleksandr Zinchenko’s prodded effort, then Craig Dawson powered a header over the crossbar after outjumping the Ukrainian.

Jarrod Bowen scores his first goal against Manchester City
Jarrod Bowen scores his first goal against Manchester City

Unsurprisingly, proceedings then took on a look familiar to most Manchester City fixtures, with Pep Guardiola’s players passing, moving and pressing relentlessly in a bid to grind their opponents down.

Accordingly, West Ham sat deep in an attempt to deny the visitors space in the final third and hit their opponents on the break. The tactic worked initially, although Kurt Zouma may count himself fortunate VAR John Brooks did not refer his challenge on Gabriel Jesus to referee Anthony Taylor.

City also saw a succession of shots blocked, with Dawson making a particularly vital intervention to divert Rodri’s strike over the crossbar, before Fernandinho lashed a 25-yarder a yard too high.

From the resulting goal kick, West Ham took the lead when the ball dropped to Pablo Fornals and the Spaniard lifted the ball over the top for Bowen. The soon-to-be England international timed his run perfectly, chested the ball down, rounded Ederson and clipped the ball into the net from an acute angle.

London Stadium erupted. Brooks’ review confirmed the No20 was onside and the goal stood, earning another roar from the home fans.

Having conceded, City went back on the offensive, but West Ham stood firm, with every player straining every sinew to protect their narrow advantage.

Aymeric Laporte, Gabriel Jesus and Zinchenko fired off-target, Aaron Cresswell blocked from Riyad Mahrez and Fabiański held on securely to Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Bowen scored again.

Jarrod Bowen scores his second goal against Manchester City
Jarrod Bowen scores his second goal against Manchester City

This time it was Antonio who provided the pass and again Bowen timed his run perfectly, controlled the ball, steadied himself and rolled a left-foot shot past Ederson and into the bottom right-hand corner.

London Stadium erupted. Brooks’ review confirmed the No20 was onside and the goal stood, earning another roar from the home fans.

West Ham made it to the interval unscathed, but City had a goal back within four minutes of the restart when Rodri’s header dropped to Grealish and the England winger’s shot took a deflection off Dawson that lifted it beyond Fabiański.

Right back in the game and sensing an opportunity, City poured forward and it needed two Fabiański saves to deny Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva an equaliser before De Bruyne fired a free-kick over the top on the hour-mark.

West Ham had weathered the storm and belatedly threatened themselves as Bowen intercepted Zinchenko’s clearance, sped past the left back and shot into the side netting.

Then, another loose pass, this time from Fernandinho, put Antonio through one-on-one with Ederson, but the No9’s attempted lob floated agonisingly wide.

It proved to be a costly miss as City levelled with 21 minutes to play, albeit in slightly fortunate circumstances as Mahrez’s free-kick was headed into his own net by Vladimír Coufal.

West Ham rallied again, and Bowen was denied a hat-trick only by a last-ditch block from Laporte.

It was edge-of-the-seat stuff for the capacity crowd, with cool heads needed, so David Moyes called on Noble, who was welcomed to the pitch with a standing ovation.

Mark Noble was introduced for a farewell appearance
Mark Noble was introduced for a farewell appearance

City had no room for sentiment with a Premier League title at stake, though, and pressed hard for a third goal.

Grealish and Fernandinho missed from range before it appeared the visitors had a golden opportunity to win it when Dawson was punished for a challenge on Gabriel Jesus and, after a visit to the pitchside monitor, Mr Taylor pointed to the penalty spot.

But Fabiański had other ideas, plunging to his left to parry the ball to safety and ensure Noble’s career would end on a memorable note.

 

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice ©, Souček, Bowen, Lanzini (Noble 77), Fornals (Johnson 90+2), Antonio (Yarmolenko 90+5)
Subs not used: Areola (GK), Fredericks, Král, Masuaku, Okoflex, Vlašić

 

Goals: Bowen 24, 45

Booked: Bowen, Coufal, Fabiański

 

Manchester City: Ederson, João Cancelo, Laporte, Fernandinho ©, Zinchenko, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Grealish, Gabriel Jesus
Subs not used: Steffen (GK), Aké, Egan-Riley, Mbete, Gündoğan, Lavia, Sterling, Foden, Palmer

 

Goals: Grealish 49, Coufal 69 (OG)

Booked: Gabriel Jesus

 

Referee: Anthony Taylor

 

Attendance: 59,972

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