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FT: Manchester City 1-0 West Ham: Full recap of a respectable Hammers defeat to Pep’s team

As good a loss as the Hammers could have had

Manchester City v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manuel Pellegrini knew that his side, no matter how healthy they have become, was up against it Wednesday evening versus a Manchester City team with the added motivation of keeping pace with Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

And it proved to be the case in the end, but not without a fight and reputable performance from West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium.

The Hammer suffered a clear 1-0 defeat against the title holders, as City’s expected domination of the possession and chances bore itself in the end. But Pellegrini’s team was as strong and resolute in their team defending as they were at any point this season. And had it not been for a clumsy penalty given up by Felipe Anderson on the difference making sub Bernardo Silva, they could have prevented City of getting a vital win.

19-year-old Ben Johnson was among many standouts, almost surviving the attacking wave upon wave that Pep Guardiola tasked his man to put the West Ham and Premier League debutant under. He could do little about the overload in the third minute that saw Kevin De Bruyne streak into the path past Declan Rice and delivered a perfect pass that Sergio Aguero placed off the post.

Another electric Argentina talent almost contributed to a goal, with the still returning Manuel Lanzini resembling a player with no eight month layoff from an ACL injury. The little genie found Andy Carroll as well as he could, but it was a tough pass to make perfect. Carroll did his best to test Ederson, but the Brazilian #2 keeper was solid to save.

It took the young Portuguese Silva to make the impact and produce the game’s defining moment, as he drove into the Hammers box and had Anderson collide into him. Aguero would do the honors and retake his Premier League lead in goals to slot easily to the left of Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham, through great defending from all back four moments and especially Ryan Fredericks, were able to prevent City from getting a second and should still take confidence from this commendable effort.

They’ll play now on Saturday against an ever improving Newcastle side.