City edge home against stubborn Hammers | OneFootball
City edge home against stubborn Hammers
Manchester City Official
City had to battle a dogged West Ham and blizzard conditions to edge a narrow 2-1 victory at the Etihad.
And though chances came and went for the champions, sub Fernandinho's 90th-minute goal proved vital, with Manuel Lanzini pulling one back in added time.
It was tough going in the early stages, with a well-organised West Ham frustrating City.
With the visitors resolute in defence and industrious in midfield, space was hard to come by and on a couple of occasions, West Ham looked dangerous when they attacked..
But gradually, the champions began to find gaps and create opportunities.
Mahrez had the ball in the net but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
With snow falling continuously, visibility became difficult and it was affecting both teams with the pattern of play slow, and difficult in blizzard-like conditions.
City, however, were adapting and the chances began to tot up until finally, the breakthrough on 34 minutes.
It was thoroughly deserved by that stage and a couple of minutes later, it could have been two as Gabriel Jesus broke clear only to see his shot scrambled off the line by Ben Johnson.
Mahrez went close again before the break, but the Hammers clung on without conceding again.
The interval allowed the Etihad’s hard-working ground staff to clear the snow and ensure something approaching a normal second period could ensue.
But finally, the second did come a minute from the end of normal time with a goal made in Brazil as Jesus worked his way into the box from the left before picking out Fernandinho who planted a low shot into the bottom left corner - he'd only been on the pitch a couple of minutes!
There was still time for Manuel Lanzini to pull one back - but the final whistle went straight after as the champions banked three deserved points.
West Ham: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell (Coufal 61), Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Benrahma (Lanzini 60), Masuaku (Bowen 74), Antonio
Subs: Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Areola, Noble, Diop, Král
What it means...
City go back to second in the Premier League, ahead of Liverpool and level on points with Chelsea who play Manchester United later today.
City travel to Villa Park on Wednesday evening to take on Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
Kick-off is 20:15 (UK).
Ballet on Ice - part 2!
It wasn’t quite a repeat of our famous ‘Ballet on Ice’ against Tottenham in 1967, but as far as the conditions went, it was very similar.
That day in December at Maine Road, City gracefully swept aside Spurs 4-1 with Tony Book’s secret tip of unscrewing the studs on the boots giving the Blues a sure-footed confidence that resulted in a masterful display by Joe Mercer’s men.
That sort of boot doesn’t exists 50-plus years on, but the skill and technique of the current City players was commendable in the winter wonderland of a pitch at the Etihad.
And the three points will have warmed the freezing supporters on this most wintry afternoon in East Manchester.