This was not a vintage performance from Manchester City, but they have played a huge amount of football recently, so a tired performance is allowed.
The first half started very very quickly and Man City should have scored at least twice. Riyad Mahrez was played through on goal by a lovely Ilkay Gundogan ball, but he was unable to convert. A few moments later Kevin De Bruyne played a beautiful ball across goal and Sergio Aguero struck the post. These chances kept on coming but City could not take one.
The second half mirrored the first as City did not look they were going to score. Pep Guardiola switched things up as he brought on Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva for Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane. The change worked as both wingers provided the necessary energy with the Portuguese magician winning a penalty, albeit a soft one. Nonetheless, Sergio Aguero tucked it away.
A quick word for the returning Manuel Pellegrini, Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri. The City fans gave them the welcome they deserved but both Pellegrini and Zabaleta had their songs chanted loudly. It’s well worth another watch if you can.
Anyway, here’s how I rated the Man City players:
GK: Ederson - 6
Ederson had little to do as West Ham did not offer anything threatening going forward. However, he pulled off a wonder save from Andy Carroll’s effort in the second half.
RB: Danilo - 8 (MOTM)
The Brazilian had a very good game, perhaps his best in a City shirt. He kept the very impressive Felipe Anderson quiet which was part of the reason West Ham were also very limited going forward. He got forward well and had him and Riyad Mahrez been on the same wavelength, City may have scored more.
CB: Vincent Kompany - 6
The captain battled tirelessly with the physical Andy Carroll and won the majority of the duels. His passing at times was wayward, but I guess we are spoiled with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte at the back.
CB: Nicolas Otamendi - 6
The Argentine didn’t really put a foot wrong in his defensive game. However, his build-up is not as sharp as City’s other CB’s and this was felt late in the second half when West Ham were able to apply a little pressure.
LB: Oleksandar Zinchenko - 7
He is on fire at the moment and continued his good form once more. In the first half, he looked sharp going forward and broke the lines many times with some threaded balls to David Silva. His defensive game was also strong as he also battled hard in the air and no longer looks as if every player will dance past him.
CDM: Ilkay Gundogan- 7
Ilkay Gundogan played the ‘Fernandinho’ role differently to the Brazilian but he was effective in what he did. His passing at times was world class a shown by the ball played to Riyad Mahrez. However, the game slowed down and he slowed down with it, thus City lost a bit of their edge going forward.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne - 6
Kevin De Bruyne showed flashes of brilliance with a fantastic whipped cross, but then showed signs of rustiness when he overhit a through ball. His link-up play with Mahrez was sloppy but it will come with time.
CM: David Silva - 6
‘El Mago’ really is off the boil at the moment. There were a few moments of magic, such as that turn late in the first half but he is struggling to get into the game and looks like he needs a rest.
RW: Riyad Mahrez - 6
Mahrez has received a huge amount of criticism from the City faithful. I can see why as he was offside too much and should have scored. However, he did show flashes of brilliance, getting into the right positions and a few wonderful through balls. I still believe with time he can be really special, I just don’t think the City fans will give him time. Remember Bernardo Silva? John Stones? Nicolas Otamendi? They all improved, so why can’t a previous the Algerian?
LW: Leroy Sane - 5
Nothing came off for Sane against West Ham. He made a few mazy runs in the first half that always show signs of a deadly performance. However, that did not happen and he was hooked for Bernardo Silva.
ST: Sergio Aguero - 6
Sergio Aguero worked very hard but after 120 minutes against Chelsea, this effort could only go so far. He should have scored at least one in the first half, but he got his goal with a much better penalty than Sunday!
Sub: Raheem Sterling - 7
This man brings so much energy and the difference between him and Leroy Sane was the former’s confidence. The first thing Raheem Sterling did was pick up the ball and run at the West Ham defence. He provided the much-needed impetus for City to kick on.
Sub: Bernardo Silva - 7
He had the same impact as Sterling, a winger with confidence that ran at a tired defence. This energy led to him being brought down for a penalty and resulting in the goal. His new chant seemed even more fitting.
Sub: Phil Foden - N/A
He came on to kill the game in the final moments.