Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Silva the hero this time

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  • Ogbonna put West Ham 1-0 up in 1st half
  • West Ham out-shot Man City in 1st half for efforts on target
  • Otamendi, Silva score to complete 2nd half comeback

Manchester City may have its flaws, but Pep Guardiola is a master at covering them up.

A swarming second half performance saw Manchester City complete its second come-from-behind victory in as many Premier League games with a vicious final 45 minutes that saw Nicolas Otamendi score the equalizer and David Silva win it with seven minutes remaining.

The two City goals overshadowed a solid performance from the Hammers, especially in the first half, who found themselves in front at halftime thanks to a goal from Angelo Ogbonna. David Moyes shuffled the deck with Michail Antonio up front as the lone striker and benching Marko Arnautovic for 21-year-old Swiss Edimilson Fernandes. He also was forced to play Adrian in goal with Joe Hart ineligible against his parent club, and the Spaniard came up big on multiple occasions.

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West Ham defended quite well throughout the first half, with Man City holding over 70% possession but hardly finding a shot on net, while the Hammers didn’t simply park the bus but instead pushed forward hard when they were able to win the ball.

In the seventh minute, Antonio nearly had the opener as Cheikhou Kouyate flicked on a corner at the near post and it floated perfectly to the far post but it was just out of reach of the Hammers striker. City had their best chance of the first half as David Silva ripped a shot from outside the box that deflected off a defender’s back, but Adrian was there to acrobatically tip it over the bar.

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West Ham, surprisingly the better side in the first half, eventually earned a stunning opener just a few minutes before the halftime whistle. The Hammers took a short corner that allowed Aaron Cresswell to work some more space, and his cross reached the head of Ogbonna who struck it magnificently to dispatch the game’s first goal past Ederson.

After halftime, Pep Guardiola brought on Gabriel Jesus to keep the ball in West Ham’s half, and the change worked to perfection. The Brazilian made a stellar run through the right side of the box and he fed Nicolas Otamendi in front of net for the equalizer before the hour mark.

The league leaders pummeled the West Ham back line the entire second half searching for a winner. Adrian was required again to deny Jesus with 20 minutes to go, while Raheem Sterling whiffed on an absolute sitter at the right post.

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With City pouring men forward, it was only a matter of time. In the 83rd minute, Kevin De Bruyne lofted a ball towards a host of streaking City attackers, and David Silva met it at the back post with a fabulously ugly finish, having to throw his foot at the ball under pressure from the defender, and he connected for the winner.

The win gives City an eight point lead at the top of the Premier League table, and their 13th straight victory in league play equals the Premier League record. West Ham, meanwhile, suffers its fourth defeat in its last five matches and remains in the relegation zone, three points from safety.