Hammers beaten 2-0 at Manchester City
Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United
A goal in each half was enough for Manchester City to record a 2-0 victory over West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
Ten days after the original date for this fixture fell victim to Storm Ciara, second placed City ensured they would not be blown off course by the Hammers.
David Moyes’ men defended well enough, as they were forced to do for large periods in Manchester, but a 30th minute header from Rodrigo was added to after the break by Kevin De Bruyne to give the home side the points.
Manchester City wasted a big chance to open the goalscoring with just six minutes on the clock, as Gabriel Jesus timed his run perfectly to break the Hammers line and run onto David Silva’s through ball. The Brazilian looked to round Lukasz Fabianski, but took too long in doing so, allowing Ryan Fredericks to tackle with the goal gaping.
Jesus was in again eight minutes later, and once more the visitors were grateful that he didn’t pull the trigger in a timely fashion, with Aaron Cresswell recovering to make a couple of magnificent blocks.
City were dominating possession, but when their reward arrived with half-an-hour gone, the Hammers would have been disappointed that it came from a set piece.
Rodrigo was the scorer, getting across his man at the near post to meet De Bruyne’s inswinging corner with a deft header that dropped in at the far.
The tempo of the game dropped with City in control, although they started the second half uncharacteristically sloppy in possession, giving the Hammers the chance to break early on when De Bruyne passed the ball straight to Declan Rice. He looked to slip Michail Antonio in with a swift pass, but Nicolas Otamendi got across to snuff out the danger.
Bernardo Silva curled a left-footed shot just over the top as the hosts began to reassert their authority, and they took a huge stride towards the points on 62 minutes.
The provider turned goalscorer this time as De Bruyne ran around the outside of Bernardo Silva inside the box to take the ball off him and fire past Fabianski with the help of a nick off Cresswell's toe.
Jesus was still on the hunt for a goal, and he passed up another opportunity to notch 13 minutes from the end when he took the ball down in space inside the area, but had Fabianski on top of him quickly to block.
There would be no goal on the night for the Brazil striker, but it would not matter for his side as the Hammers were unable to find a route back into the contest as City saw out time.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Laporte (Stones 65), Mendy, Rodrigo, D.Silva (Foden 85), De Bruyne (Gundogan 79), B.Silva, Jesus, Aguero
Subs: Bravo, Cancelo, Fernandinho, Mahrez
Goals: Rodrigo 30, De Bruyne 62
West Ham United: Fabianski, Fredericks (Zabaleta 60), Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku, Rice, Noble, Soucek, Snodgrass (Bowen 80), Antonio
Subs: Randolph, Balbuena, Lanzini, Felipe Anderson, Haller
Referee: Kevin Friend