Premier League games are always tough but after beating Chelsea in Stratford back on August 20, West Ham United fans in attendance for Saturday’s match at home to Manchester City would have been hoping for more of the same. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t to be as last season’s treble winners came from behind to beat them 3-1.
David Moyes only made one change to the side that won at newly-promoted Luton Town fifteen days ago, as Tomáš Souček was restored to the starting line-up in place of Saïd Benrahma. Konstantinos Mavropanos had recovered from the minor injury that the Greek defender had when he signed for the club and made the bench.
Kurt Zouma was named as the club’s new Captain on Friday and he once again started in defence.
In recent seasons against Josep Guardiola’s side, West Ham have struggled from minute one to deal with their considerable threat and often been on the end of some heavy defeats but to be fair to the hosts on this occasion, they gave it a right go.
They were helped however by City’s uncharacteristic lack of composure in front of goal in the first-half.
On the other hand, the Hammers were also defending superbly to make sure that it wasn’t too easy for the visitors to break the deadlock.
Guardiola’s men missed chances through Rodri, Erling Haaland and Jérémy Doku with Alphonse Areola once again on top form in goal for the home side.
Haaland went close again soon after but Nayef Aguerd produced a superb goalline clearance to deny the Norwegian striker.
Phil Foden, along with Doku tried to get the better of Areola but the French goalkeeper was still doing all he could to thwart the Citizens.
On thirty six minutes, the East Londoners scored!!! A great team move involving both Jarrod Bowen and Vladimír Coufal provided James Ward-Prowse with a chance to put Moyes’ side ahead. That he did and you wouldn’t believe the noise coming from the majority inside the stadium.
The hosts kept their lead as referee Andrew Madley blew the whistle for the break. Keeping Guardiola’s team at bay must have pleased them as they went down the tunnel. It was pretty clear that three sides of the stadium were delighted with the efforts of their team too!!!
There must have been a heated atmosphere inside the away dressing room during the break because just seconds after the restart, Doku came up with his first goal for his new club to equalise and from then on, Guardiola’s men took control. The travelling contingent also saw their side hit the post on fifty one minutes through Julián Álvarez.
Both managers made changes with just over twenty minutes of normal time to play with new signing Matheus Nunes replacing Phil Foden, while Moyes introduced both Benrahma and Mohammed Kudus for Edson Álvarez and Michail Antonio.
After Moyes had made his alterations, it all went wrong for the Irons. A great passing move involving Álvarez and Bernardo Silva resulted in the Argentine sending the ball over the head of Aguerd and back into the path of the Portuguese, who then had the simplest of finishes past Areola and the treble winners had turned the game on its head.
Haaland eventually got his name on the scoresheet before Danny Ings and Thilo Kehrer came on for Coufal and Souček.
The Hammers begin their third European campaign on Thursday when they are back in Stratford facing their opening group stage game of the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League campaign against Serbian outfit FK TSC Bačka Topola.