West Ham blown away by champions Manchester City
PUBLISHED: 17:07 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:07 24 November 2018
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The Hammers were no match for four-midable City
West Ham United 0 Manchester City 4
This was no happy Manchester reunion for Manuel Pellegrini, who saw his hammered Hammers crushed by the City steam-roller at the London Stadium, where the four-midable champions had all three points in the bag within the opening 33 minutes.
Having steered his former side to the Premier League trophy in 2014, five seasons on, the Chilean was now forced to watch the man in the opposing dug-out – Pep Guardiola – take another inevitable step towards what will surely be back-to-back title wins.
Indeed, the Hammers were left with a mountain of Everest proportions to climb after both David Silva and then Raheem Sterling netted their eighth City goals of the season inside 20 minutes.
In-form Leroy Sané – who netted in both of Germany’s matches during the international break - then added a third just after the half-hour mark to send Guardiola’s thoroughbreds galloping off, home and hosed, by the interval and the City striker then grabbed his second goal of the game with the final kick of the afternoon.
Pace-setting City had arrived in the East End having lost just once in 18 matches all season – a shock Champions League defeat against Lyon – and with 10 victories and two draws in their dozen Premier League outings, they kicked off 12 places and 20 points ahead of Manuel’s men.
Following his side’s 1-1 draw at Huddersfield a fortnight ago, Pellegrini made two changes as Michail Antonio replaced suspended Robert Snodgrass, while Arthur Masuaku came in for substitute Aaron Cresswell, who was joined on the bench by Andy Carroll making a welcome return to the squad after damaging an ankle in pre-season.
And although the Hammers forced a couple of corners inside the opening ten minutes, it was the visitors who looked the most menacing with Silva ripping a low, angled shot into the side-netting after Felipe Anderson had over-elaborated in his own area.
Noisy neighbours City had beaten Manchester United last time out and Pep Guardiola made a quartet of changes as Sané, Ilkay Gündogan, Fabian Delph and Nicolás Otamendi came in for Benjamin Mendy (knee) and Bernardo Silva plus substitutes John Stones and Riyad Mahrez.
With just 11 minutes on the clock, the visitors carried on from where they had left off in that Manchester derby as Silva got it right with his second early effort of the afternoon, ghosting in front of Fabián Balbuena to steer Sterling’s low, right-wing cross beyond Lukasz Fabianski from six yards.
Endeavouring to quickly get back on level terms, Pedro Obiang hooked meekly over the top before Sergio Aguero cleared the crossbar at the other end.
But that proved only brief respite for the Hammers, who found themselves two-down on 19 minutes, when Sané burst past former City veteran, Pablo Zabaleta before firing a low, left-wing ball towards the far post, where Sterling got in front of Masuaku to slide home from three yards.
Yet again, West Ham tried to exert some pressure as Kyle Walker and Ederson combined to block Marko Arnautović’s 12-yarder and then the City ‘keeper saved an Antonio screamer with his torso.
That though, was as close as West Ham would get before the visitor’s added a third on 33 minutes, when Fernandinho picked out Sterling at the back of the area and, with expert technique, the England winger cushioned the ball into the path of the inrushing Sané, who deposited Balbuena on his backside before trickling a six-yarder past the off-balance Fabianski.
Three-down at the break, poor Pellegrini did not have too many options but he replaced Masuaku with Cresswell for the restart and then Grady Diangana made way for Javier Hernández, ten minutes later.
Within moments of his arrival, the Mexican substitute invited Antonio to canter past Fabian Delph but as Ederson advanced from his line, the Hammers No.30 curled a 15-yarder onto the outside of the right-hand upright.
Loyally sticking with their trailing team, with more hope than expectation, the Claret & Blue supporters in the crowd of 56,866 continued to sing ‘Bubbles’ as Cresswell let fly with a low 20-yarder that was deflected aside for West Ham’s seventh corner of the contest.
With Carroll being saved for another battle, Lucas Pérez curiously became the third and final change of the afternoon as Anderson retired, while Phil Foden and then Mahrez came on for Gündogan and Sterling, too.
Arnautović headed over from 10 yards before Balbuena glanced Cresswell’s near post corner beyond the far upright to leave City still having only conceded five league goals all season and, with Arnautović worryingly hobbling away before the final whistle, Pellegrini then saw his out-thought and out-classed Hammers concede a fourth, when substitute Gabriel Jesus chipped to the far post for Sané to send an angled volley through Cresswell on the far post.
HAMMERS: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Masuaku (Cresswell h/t), Diop, Balbuena, Obiang, Rice, Antonio, Diangana (Hernández 55), Anderson (Pérez 68), Arnautović. Unused subs: Adrián, Carroll, Noble, Ogbonna.
CITY: Ederson, Walker, Delph, Otamendi, Laporte, Fernandinho, Gündogan (Foden 68), Silva, Sterling (Mahrez 74), Sané, Aguero (Jesus 80). Unused subs: Muric, Kompany, Stones, Zinchenko.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
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