Manchester City 2, West Ham 1
Manchester City reached the summit of the Premier League after Fernandinho scored the winner against West Ham at a snowbound Etihad Stadium.
City hit the woodwork twice and had two goals ruled out for offside through but settled for a 2-1 win in the end through goals by Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho before Manuel Lanzini scored what turned out to be a consolation for West Ham as City gained revenge for their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of the Hammers.
Gabriel Jesus and Aymeric Laporte came into the side for Oleksandr Zinchenko and John Stones, who was ill, as Pep Guardiola made two changes from the side that beat Paris St Germain on Wednesday.
City were short of playing options again due to injuries and COVID – Cole Palmer and James McAtee were the only attacking options on the City bench.
Kyle Walker made his 200th appearance for City and Michail Antonio put himself about in the City area the home side went close through Aymeric Laporte’s header which hit the back post before City had the ball in the West Ham net from Riyad Mahrez but it was ruled out for offside.
City had to work for their opening as West Ham pressed them high but Joao Cancelo switched the ball to the right where he found Riyad Mahrez.
The Algerian’s cross into the box found Ilkay Gundogan who finished from 5 yards out after 33 minutes.
Jesus found himself clean through but wide on the right and put his shot wide of the back post as City pushed for a second in blizzard conditions.
There was a delay to start the second half during which the ground staff were applauded for their efforts in getting the pitch cleared – the snow had been hampering City’s passing game.
City had a couple of half chances through Raheem Sterling after the break with Aaron Cresswell hurting himself against the post while clearing a cross for Jesus.
Said Benrahma was struggling with injury and was replaced by Manuel Lanzini after 59 minutes as the game slipped into a comfort zone City probing for openings and racking up corners while West Ham tried to catch then on the break.
With City in complete control of the game, they had plenty of time to slow the game down and Fernandinho, on as a late substitute, made sure of the win Wirth a 90th minute goal after Gabriel Jesus cut the ball back.
There was even time for Bernardo Silva to have a cheeky injury time third goal ruled out for offside a minute later after he chipped Lukasz Fabianski.
But right at the end Lanzini spoiled Ederson’s afternoon when he pulled back a goal for West Ham, turning, and chipping the goalkeeper from outside the area but the damage was already done.
PLAYER RATINGS – Manchester City 2, West Ham 1
Ederson: 7. Was able to keep warm with plenty of early action as West Ham pressurised the City goal. Saved well from Declan Rice in the second half.
Kyle Walker: 6. Early shot went just wide. Distribution wayward in the snow.
Ruben Dias: 7. Had battle on his hands with Michail Antonio.
Aymeric Laporte: 7. Slightly rusty after his reintroduction to the team but he went close with a header that came off the back post. Booked for a foul on Michail Antonio and had Pep Guardiola in his ear at key times. Improved quickly though and City gained control back.
Joao Cancelo: 7. Not much chance to get forward but he was quality when he did – started the move that ended in the opening goal and had a shot saved too.
Rodri: 7. Had passing lane cut off by Said Benrahma as West Ham tried to stifle midfield but he still managed to get some good touches in.
Ilkay Gundogan: 8. Silky moves in midfield – and had a couple of shots from which he scored City’s opening goal, also laid on the winner for Fernandinho.
Bernardo Silva: 7. Always available and hard working as ever and had a late goal ruled out of offside.
Riyad Mahrez: 6. Played at false 9 early on and had an early goal quickly ruled out for offside before switching to the right flank where he created the opening goal and later hit the woodwork himself. Narrowly avoided getting hooked for Fernandinho late on.
Gabriel Jesus: 6. Rewarded for good game against PSG but was offside for a great chance in the first half. Switched to centre forward after starting on the right but was wasteful although he worked hard to track back.
Raheem Sterling: 6. Played a little deeper while on the left, was more attacking after the break and laid on a great chance for Jesus early on.
Fernandinho (on for Raheem Sterling, 87): Too late to mark. Made the result safe with last minute goal.
GOALS – Manchester City 2, West Ham 1
Man City 1, West Ham 0: 33. Ilkay Gündoğan tapped in from 5 yards out after Joao Cancelo picked out Riyad Mahrez and the Angerian sent a cross into the box from wide on the right which the German converted.
Man City 2, West Ham 0: 90. Fernandinho got on the end of Gabriel Jesus’ cutback after West Ham failed to deal with a short City corner and paid the price.
Man City 2, West Ham 1: 90+5. Manuel Lanzini turned and volleyed a consolation goal past Ederson from outside the area.
MATCH STATS – Manchester City 2, West Ham 1
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez , Jesus, Sterling (Fernandinho 87)
Man City subs not used: Steffen, Carson, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Palmer, McAtee
Booked: Laporte 29 (foul on Michail Antonio); Cancelo 61 (foul on Pablo Fornals)
Goals: Gundogan 33; Fernandinho 90
West Ham: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell (Coufal 61), Souchek, Rice, Fornals, Benrahma (Lanzini 59), Masuaku (Bowen 74), Antonio
West Ham subs not used: Areola, Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Noble, Diop, Kral
Goal: Lanzini 90+5
Referee: Michael Oliver