Manchester City 1-0 West Ham LIVE: Nathan Ake powers City ahead as he meets Riyad Mahrez’s cross at the start of the second half and set Pep Guardiola’s men on course for top spot
Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the Premier League clash between Manchester City and West Ham.
56min: David Moyes will be fuming with that goal conceded by the way. His team have defended so well yet were beaten by a rather routine lofted ball to the back post from a free-kick. If that’s one area where I would have backed West Ham to look strong this evening it was defending those.
53min: City are a little more relaxed now. Erling Haaland runs into box before being forced wide by Lukasz Fabinaski, moments before Jack Grealish fires wide of the near post from 25 yards.
50min: Breakthrough for City. The resulting Riyad Mahrez free-kick is clipped into the box finds an unmarked Nathan Ake at the back post and he is only too happy to nod home.
49min: There is our first booking as Grealish is wiped out by Flynn Downes on the counter attack to concede a free-kick 30 yards out.
46min: Perhaps not helping City is the lack of noise inside the stadium. It sounds like a standard mid-November mid-week fixture in the Etihad rather than a cauldron of noise roaring their side on to the title. There was certainly a lot more of a buzz in the Emirates last night.
Is there more to come from City or are they really being that slack this evening? City by the way had 80 per cent of the ball in the first period. Means nothing if you cannot stick it in the net though.
45min: Only one sets of fans cheering right now and it’s the West Ham ones. Their team have been excellent so far as they chant their ‘blowing bubbles’ anthem. Just one added minute to a rather quiet first period.
42min: A rare West Ham attack. A free-kick is pumped long to the edge of the box for Michail Antonio, who although flicks the ball on can only see Pablo Fornals volley way, way off target.
38min: City though are still struggling here to break down West Ham. It’s just that left side they can find joy. West Ham have effectively built a brick wall down the centre and on their own left side.
35min: City have improved in the last 10 minutes or so. A looped corner finds Rodri, whose header into the mixer is then nodded wide by John Stones.
32min: And that’s as close as we will get to a goal tonight without seeing one! Rodri and Haaland play a one-two and as the former runs into the box his low shot bounces off the post rolls across the target and then away to safety.
30min: City respond though by hitting the post! Grealish from the left this time does cut inside but his low strike bounces off the upright and wide
29min: Chance of the match, I think so – and it’s for West Ham too!
Jarrod Bowen gets in behind the City defence on the byline but from a tight angle he is denied by Ortega.
27min: It does though remain all City and they seem to be finding some joy down the left side Grealish is patrolling.
They are though restricted to putting crosses into the box, and each one of them is being dealt with by the West Ham defence.
24min: It’s the first we have seen from Haaland. Jack Grealish scoops a cross to the back post with the outside of his boot but it’s just a bit too high for the Norwegian who can only divert his effort off target. Not an easy chance at all.
21min: And on that note you would have to say David Moyes will be much the happier manager so far. Sickness bug or not, his side have been very disciplined to all but neuter the Man City attack.
18min: Not been great this. We still only have two shots to call upon. One was an early hit and hope from Alvarez, the other that decent stop from Fabianski to deny Mahrez. West Ham frustrating the hosts.
15min: Has Haaland touched the ball yet? We are 15 minutes into this game now and I can’t think of any significant involvement from the striker. Alvarez tries to thread a ball into him on the counter but it’s intercepted and a slow starting City continue to probe.
12min: Ruben Dias is a lucky boy here. He cuts across to the touchline and makes a reckless sliding tackle on Michail Antonio to concede a foul.
Even that wasn’t debatable, but the dangerous nature of his challenge suggested he probably should have been booked for that – and not been given just a stern warning.
11min: Half-chance for City and it’s similar to the one Arsenal opened the scoring with last night.
Jack Grealish plays a ball to the edge of the box for Riyad Mahrez, whose first time shot is well saved by Fabianski who pushes the ball behind.
8min: City cooking on simmer right now. They win a corner but fail to beat the first man with a ball towards the near post as an otherwise untested West Ham defence clear.
5min: The game is very much being played entirely inside the West Ham half but not much intensity from City so far.as they patiently probe the Hammers who are playing quite deep.
2min: Early sighter from Manchester City, with Julian Alvarez charging through the centre before letting fly from 30 yards. His shot though lacks power and enables Lukasz Fabinaski to claim a comfortable catch.
Here is a reminder of the team news:
Man City: Ortega, Walker, Dias, Ake, Stones, Rodri, Mahrez, Alvarez, Bernardo Silva, Grealish, Haaland.
Subs: Phillips, Gundogan, Laporte, Gomez, Akanji, Ederson, Perrone, Foden, Lewis.
West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Emerson Palmieri, Cresswell, Bowen, Downes, Lucas Paqueta, Fornals, Antonio. Subs: Johnson, Lanzini, Areola, Cornet, Ings, Benrahma, Anang.
Referee: John Brooks (Leicestershire)
As much as City are going for the title, we need to remember West Ham are still battling relegation too. A win tonight and on 37 points that could be enough to keep them up…
Down the tunnel they go, worth noting that during those warm ups, Haaland was pin-point precise in finding the net during the shooting practice.
‘We picked our team last night, some of them are too ill so we’ve had to change the team overnight, hopefully its not too bad.
‘We had named some of the players who are not here in the side, but two or three of them are ill and there’s nothing we can do about it.
‘We didn’t have time to bring players up from the youth side. It will give some other players opportunities. It was always a tough game, we’ve come here a couple of times and got something. We’ll make it difficult.
‘We want a good performance here tonight, but if we don’t get that and we won we’ll take that. They’ve got a super centre forward and other good players as well, we have to hope he’s not having a good night. There are some great Premier League centre halves over the year who would have loved the challenge of Haaland, we have to hope they’re up for it tonight.’
‘[De Bruyne] he’s feeling better [back for the weekend] we hope so,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘The season is long, it has a few ups and downs, we can not be always winning. The selection, we always try to take the right one. The guys that didn’t start today could play perfectly so its not easy.’
I’m still not sure about this call from Guardiola though to ‘rest’ Ederson you know. He can overthink it sometimes. Imagine the stick he will take if Ortega makes a crucial error tonight…
Kevin De Bruyne failed to prove his fitness. The Belgian playmaker, who missed the weekend win at Fulham with a knock, is again sidelined while Nathan Ake and Bernardo Silva return.
West Ham made four changes with Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Nayef Aguerd and the injured Kurt Zouma making way for Aaron Cresswell, Flynn Downes, Angelo Ogbonna and Thilo Kehrer.
Stefan Ortega comes in to play in goal, making a Premier League debut, ending Ederson’s run of 62 straight starts in the top flight.
It’s the highlight of tweaks to the City team but Pep has form for this. He likes a surprise twist at the most crucial parts of the season – but so often in the past it has led to surprise defeats, notably in the Champions League.
Tonight's team to face Manchester City ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/a10Go4IkGT
🔵 𝑻𝑬𝑨𝑴 𝑵𝑬𝑾𝑺 ⚒️
XI | Ortega Moreno, Walker (C), Stones, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, Bernardo, Mahrez, Alvarez, Grealish, Haaland
SUBS | Ederson, Phillips, Gundogan, Laporte, Gomez, Akanji, Perrone, Foden, Lewis#ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/s1OPmihxCe
Erling Haaland will be even BETTER next season! Prolific striker ‘can improve a lot’, insists Pep Guardiola… and Manchester City boss says the 22-year-old has the same hunger to succeed as Lionel Messi
JACK GAUGHAN: Pep Guardiola has warned that Erling Haaland will be even better next season as the Norwegian stands on the verge of smashing Premier League records.
Along with his Manchester City team-mates of course. It’s a big evening for the striker. If he finds the net tonight it will be Premier League goal #35 for the season – breaking the all-time record held since the league’s inception since 1992 currently held by Andy Cole and Alan Shearer – and they were in 42-game campaigns too.
As supporters arrive at the Etihad Stadium, many are hoping for Man City to win and continue their quest for a treble.
On paper you would expect that too, but this title race has more than a twist or two left in it yet.
Following Arsenal’s win over Chelsea last night, City begin the evening two points behind the Gunners with two games in hand. It’s vital they follow up with a win against West Ham to keep the momentum in their favour heading into the final few games in hand.
Also in action are Liverpool who will be looking to keep their very slim hopes of Champions League football alive when they host Fulham.
It’s May and the Premier League – the time when at both ends of the table the games become absolutely huge. Tonight is no exception at the Etihad Stadium concerning the title fight and the relegation battle as I welcome you to our live coverage of Manchester City vs West Ham United.
Source: Read Full Article