|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Leroy Sané double lights up Manchester City’s rout of West Ham
Paul MacInnes at the London Stadium
Date Published Sat 24 Nov 2018 17.17 GMT
If you were looking for a contest that reflected well on the competitiveness of the Premier League, this was not it. Manchester City comprehensively defeated West Ham in less than 40 minutes at the London Stadium, though both managers were too polite to admit it.
Pep Guardiola and Manuel Pellegrini insisted this had been a close contest, with the hosts creating more chances than the visitors, or at least more than they customarily give up. Pellegrini effectively attributed City’s hefty half-time advantage to moments of bad defending.
All of this was true but the facts were selective. City went in at the interval 3-0 ahead with goals from David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané. West Ham created their chances only once the jig was up (and even then they did not take them).
Pellegrini was right to chastise his defence – and he hauled off the bamboozled Arthur Masuaku at half-time – but City’s forwards would likely have carved up that team however well they had played. They were just too good.
This might be a sobering thought for West Ham, who lest we forget spent £100m in the summer to challenge in the top half of the table and recruited a former Manchester City manager to help them do it . This was Pellegrini’s first encounter against his old employers since he left to make way for Guardiola, and his bold choice of formation – playing four forwards in an attacking 4-4-1-1 – fared no better than those of his predecessors. In four games between City and West Ham at their new home, the aggregate score is 17-1 to the visitors.
“To win you must score,” Pellegrini said. “It’s difficult for me as a manager, when you lose, to say that there were a lot of useful things in this game. But unfortunately for us, we were weak in defending the first three goals.
“I think before the first goal we were not intimidated. If you review the match you will see most of the play was in their half. The best thing we had today was that we kept playing exactly the same way even after the goals. We continued to try and created many chances to at least score a goal.”
Guardiola, for his part, said: “Today we were lucky in some moments. They had two chances before half-time. We conceded more corners than usual. You see how they good they are with the forwards of [Marko] Arnautovic and [Michail] Antonio.
“We were a little less stable because of the international break, but this is normal. You can see it has also effected the results of Real Madrid and Manchester United.”
City opened the scoring on 11 minutes from an innocuous situation, if there is such a thing with Guardiola’s team. Felipe Anderson surrendered possession just outside City’s box to Leroy Sané (the winger’s defensive work, alongside that of Sterling, earned praise from his manager). Soon enough the ball was at the other end with Sterling and two little movements opened the hosts up. Sterling bent a cross behind the back line, Silva darted beyond it and his finish was a tidy reverse clip past Lukasz Fabianski.
Nine minutes later the lead was doubled, Sterling tucking home at the back post after Sané had bewildered Pablo Zabaleta on the right-hand side. The third goal came 10 minutes before half-time and was just as simple as the others, Fernandinho looping a pass to Sterling. His first-time cross found Sané, who sent Fabian Balbuena sprawling and passed the ball past Fabianski.
West Ham’s big moment arrived just before the hour when Javier Hernández sent Antonio clear. The forward won the race and beat the onrushing Ederson but saw his shot cannon back off the post. Both Arnautovic and Balbuena had headed chances after that, but neither ended up on target. Sané, meanwhile, had one more opportunity, with the final kick of the match, and he volleyed it home.
“Our biggest risk is the belief that we can not do better,” Guardiola said. For the rest of the Premier League, that is a sobering thought.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
West Ham United (4-4-1-1): Fabianski 5.5; Zabaleta 5.5, Balbuena 5, Diop 5, Masuaku 3.5 (Cresswell 46); Diangana 5.5 (Hernandez 55), Obiang 6, Rice 6.5, Anderson 7.5 (Perez 69); Antonio 6; Arnautovic 5.5
Subs not used: Adrian, Carroll, Noble, Ogbonna
COACH: Manuel Pellegrini 5
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson 6; Walker 6, Otamendi 6, Laporte 6.5, Delph 6; Gundogan 6 (Foden 69, 6.5), Fernandinho 7.5, D Silva 8; Sterling 7.5 (Mahrez 73, 6), Aguero 6 (Jesus 79, 6), Sane
Subs not used: Muric, Kompany, Stones, Zinchenko
GOALS: Silva 11, Sterling 19, Sane 34, 90+3
COACH: Pep Guardiola 7
REFEREE: Andre Marriner 7
MAN OF THE MATCH: David Silva
VENUE: London Stadium