EPL: Man City Close Gap At The Top With Victory Over West Ham
Manchester City maintained pace with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League log with a 2-1 victory over West Ham United at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon.
The game, which was threatened by snowfrost throughout the game, same scenario that saw the Burnley vs Tottenham game postponed. The atmosphere almost become very unplayable and the workmen had to clear the frost.
Pepe Guardiola made just two changes to his team that came from behind to defeat Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League, with Gabriel Jesus, who scored as a substitute on that night getting the nod to start, along with the returning Aymeric Laporte from his match ban.
David Moyes had in their Europa League game in midweek shuffled his team ahead of the weekend and reverted to the team that lost to Wolves last weekend, with the exception of Jack Bowen, who was replaced by Arthur Masuaku.
The Hammers took advantage of the frost to unsettle their hosts in the opening minutes and almost went ahead in the 6th minute, when Michail Antonio sent a ball crawling into the box. Said Benrhama looked like he was not expecting the ball and ended up scuffing his effort.
Kyle Walker tried his luck from long range, but saw his rising effort fizzled past the goal, before Laporte came close to giving the hosts the lead, when he headed a corner from Ilkay Gundogan against the framework.
West Ham were looking to take advantage of any chance they could create and Pablo Fornals played Antonio in on the right side. The striker got the better of Joao Cancelo heading towards the byline and tried to lob the on-rushing Ederson Moraes from the angle, but his effort went into the side netting.
Not long afterwards, Man City had the ball in the back of the West Ham net. Raheem Sterling had fed the ball to Riyad Mahrez on the edge of Hammers’ box, before the Algerian squeezed his effort past Lukasz Fabianski, but his goal was rightly ruled out for offside.
Just three minutes after the half hour mark, the hosts took the lead. A nice switch of play by Cancelo to the right finding Mahrez, allowing the winger cut into the box and send and low ball into the far post where Gundogan was lurking and he flicked his shot into the goal.
The home side continued to pressure on and harass their visitors’ goal despite the frost getting deeper and the conditions worsening. A pass to Rodri was blocked by what seemed like the arm of Benrhama, but the advantage was played by the referee, allowing Jesus get his shot over Fabianski and would have been two goals in two successive games for the Brazilian, but for a goal line clearance by Ben Johnson.
Moments later, the hosts hit the post for the second time. Cancelo with a lot of room pulled the trigger from range which was parried by Fabianski and the rebound was hit against the near post by Mahrez.
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