Man City vs West Ham went about as expected. Well, apart from the snow storm and the shovels.
The second half of Man City’s 2-1 win over West Ham United was delayed so workers could shovel off the pitch, which took some time, but simply delayed the inevitable at the Etihad Stadium.
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Ilkay Gundogan had a goal in the 33rd minute and set up Fernandinho’s 90th-minute insurance goal as City dealt with the conditions and a resolute West Ham to join leaders Chelsea on 29 points before Chelsea vs Man United kicks off.
Manuel Lanzini scored an absolutely incredible goal for the Irons. West Ham will finish the weekend on 23 points, ahead of fifth-place Arsenal on goal differential.
Man City vs West Ham final score, stats
Final score: Man City 2, West Ham 1
Scorers: Gundogan (33′), Fernandinho (90′), Lanzini (90’+4)
Shots: Man City, 19-5
Shots on target: Man City, 9-3
Possession: Man City, 69%
Three things we learned
1. Should City be the favorite to win the Premier League? Man City did not have Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, and Ferran Torres. Forget the millions and millions and millions spent for a second and those are still some absences to overcome on a snow-covered pitch coming off a European week with two more matches ahead next week (West Ham also played in Europe last week, we should mention). But City’s defense was imperious and its midfield barely missed a step. Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan combined attempted 133 passes and failed to complete… five. Again, in the snow. The first half was significantly more snowy and City passed at 91 percent as a team. Over a full season, it’s difficult to say anyone will out-perform City. Still, it’ll come down to the games between City, Chelsea, and Liverpool.
2. Lanzini to the Louvre: We watch games like these for the aesthetics, and we watch this sport for moments like Manuel Lanzini’s incredible finish shortly after Fernandinho put the game to bed.
3. West Ham’s counterpunch plan comes up short: This isn’t a damning indictment on West Ham’s effort or David Moyes’ plan, as the Irons had this match 1-0 for most of the game but just came up short when it came to the needed finishing touch. Man City’s at the peak of its organized powers, so it was always going to require a funny, snow-produced bounce or moment of true wonder from the Irons. That didn’t come, and it’s likely why West Ham will be looking at top six instead of top four even if Michail Antonio keeps delivering the goods. It’s a shame Sebastien Haller didn’t work for Moyes and Co.
Man of the Match: Ilkay Gundogan
Yes, the goal and the assist were what drove the win, but so, too, were four key passes, four-of-four on long passes, an almost-perfect 56-of-58 passing day, two tackles, and two clearances…. in a snow storm.
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