Hammers battle to earn their point against Manchester City
West Ham United 1-1 Manchester City
West Ham United extended their unbeaten run to four games with a battling display to earn a 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Saturday.
The Hammers, who have now claimed positive results against four of the Premier League’s top seven from last season in succession, led at the break through Michail Antonio’s wonderful acrobatic volley.
At that point, with the visitors struggling to create, a first victory over the Citizens since 2015 looked on the cards, but a team of their quality can never be discounted.
They upped their game in the second period, with half-time sub Phil Foden levelling just six minutes after the restart.
The Citizens looked the more likely winners as time ticked on, but West Ham stood firm to add another notable result to their encouraging start to the campaign.
David Moyes’ men came into the London Stadium clash on a high following their dramatic late comeback to draw 3-3 at Tottenham Hotspur last week, and they began the game in confident mood.
Manchester City, as you would expect, bossed the ball, but West Ham possessed a threat on the break and moved into the lead with 18 minutes on the clock.
Antonio has been a thorn for plenty of defences since football’s restart in June, and he added City’s to the list with his third goal of the season.
He had too much strength for Ruben Dias, holding the Portugal defender off to meet Vladimir Coufal’s right-wing cross with an acrobatic scissor-kick volley and give Ederson no chance in the visitors’ goal.
Eight minutes later the Hammers No30 thought he was in on goal again as he burst into space from halfway. Eric Garcia did well to get back him and force the ball to run through to Ederson with his last-ditch channel.
For all the visitors’ possession – they had 66 percent of the ball before the break – they were finding it difficult to get in behind the West Ham defencer, and Bernardo Silva’s 25-yard drive, which slid a couple of feet wide of the left-hand post, was their best effort of the opening period.
Pep Guardiola’s response was to introduce Foden from the bench for Sergio Aguero at the break, and his decision was vindicated within six minutes.
The England youngster controlled Joao Cancelo’s low cross inside the box, before swivelling and firing inside the near post with his left foot to level the scores.
Both teams were remaining difficult to break down as the game entered it’s final quarter, Kyle Walker shooting into Lukasz Fabianski’s grasp from range at one end, Andriy Yarmolenko replying with a left-footed effort a yard or two too high at the other.
The clock was slowing down to a snail’s pace as City upped the pressure, although the Hammers backline were doing a sterling job of protecting Fabianski.
The one time they did manage to break through, when Kevin De Bruyne won the ball high up the pitch and fed Sterling in, the home No1 closed the angles down brilliantly to block.
Riyad Mahrez then came desperately close to squeezing the ball in at the near post right at the death, but the Hammers had done enough to claim another valuable point.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Masuaku, Bowen (Haller 69), Antonio (Yarmolenko 52), Fornals
Subs: Randolph, Fredericks, Diop, Noble, Lanzini
Goal: Antonio 18
Booked: Coufal, Balbuena
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker (Zinchenko 78), Ruben Dias, Garcia, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Mahrez, Bernardo Silva (De Bruyne 68), Sterling, Aguero (Foden 46)
Subs: Steffen, Stones, Palmer, Torres
Goal: Foden 51
Referee: Anthony Taylor