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Manchester City vs West Ham United at Etihad Stadium

FT
Etihad Stadium Referee : Michael Oliver
27th February 2021 12:30 PM (GMT)
  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘30' Rúben Dias
    • ‘68' John Stones
  • 1 West Ham United

    • ‘43' Michail Antonio

#mancity

Commentary By John Edwards

15:20

Goodbye!

That's the end of today's live coverage. You can check out all the match reaction and stats below.

We're back in action on Tuesday evening, with another Premier League home game as Wolves visit the Etihad Stadium.

Will we make it win number 21? 

Kick-off is at 20:00 (UK) and you can join us for live coverage in the Matchday Centre from 18:00.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Blues!

15:16

Pep - Twenty wins could be our greatest achievement

"Twenty wins in this period, with this situation around the world, to win 20 could be the greatest achievement we have done. It doesn't mean we win the title of course, but in winter time in England, with a game every three days, COVID situation, injuries...winning, winning, winning shows strength mentally. 

"Today we didn't paint something nice, but there are many games like this during the season. But we were stable. We won without being brilliant or good. Tomorrow, we reflect on how we can do better and for the next game, we try to solve it."

15:09

Top 10

Kevin De Bruyne's brilliant assist for Ruben Dias opener moves him into the top 10 on the all-time Premier League assist chart.

It was the Belgian's 77th assist and sees him leapfrog Teddy Sheringham, whilst he is just three short of David Beckham in ninth place.

City legend David Silva is sixth on the list, with 93 assists.

15:02

Stats

Our defenders got the goals today, but , my word, are they good at stopping them! 

🔹 We have not trailed at any point in our past 18 league fixtures, conceding just five goals.

🔹 Our tally of 15 clean sheets is the most by any team after 25 top-flight games since 2008-09.

14:56

Pep - A difficult game

"It was really difficult. They have the physicality. They have the quality of players in Lingard, Fornals. After 10-15 minutes today we realise we are not going to paint anything beautiful. 

"Second half we were much better than the first half. When you play a lot of games, in the league and then the Champions League, this is normal.

"We were lucky to get all three points. The mathematics matter at the end of the season."

14:50

John Stones - An incredible few months

"We knew that we had to take it each game at a time, we knew out quality. We come about our business in our own way and we keep fighting. We set the bar so high in previous seasons and we want to get back there. We knew we had to fight, we have a bunch of fighters in the dressing room, everyone is playing game. 

"It’s been an incredible few months and there’s a few months left. We’re in every competition to try and win them. That is our target, with this mentality and spirit and hopefully, you never know what can happen." 

14:41

John Stones – We showed great character

"They did make us work for it. A lot of credit to West Ham. We knew what they were coming here to do. Their position in the table speaks for itself. They gave us a great game today. We had to fight right until the last few minute. 

"I’m really satisfied. At half-time we were a bit deflated after conceding late in the first half. We weren’t at our free flowing football that we’re used to in recent weeks but that’s again how they set up against us. We showed great character from half time and through the second half."

14:34

Stats, stats, stats

Plenty of pleasing facts and figures after this game!

🔹 This was our 20th win in a row in all competitions, which extends our English top-flight record.

🔹 Our unbeaten run now stands at 27 games, having not lost since the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on 21 November.

🔹 This was Pep Guardiola's 500th victory in all competitions as a manager of a top-flight side.

🔹 John Stones has scored four goals in all competitions this season. No Premier League defender has scored more.

🔹 Kevin De Bruyne's cross for Ruben Dias goal was his 11th assist of the season in the Premier League. No other player has provided more. (Harry Kane is level on 11)

14:23

Live reaction ☝️

It's a big three points and a job well done for City.

West Ham might feel they should have got something for the game, but Pep Guardiola's side had too much for them in the end. We're not 13 points clear at the top of the league ahead of the rest of the weekend's fixtures.

Michael Brown and Richard Dunne are analysing the action on We're Not Really Here now.

90'+4'

Last chance

Oh, that is a big chance for the visitors!

City clear a free-kick, but Lingard sends a second cross into the box. Diop gets clear of his marker, but sends his header wide of the goal.

90'+2'

Relieved

West Ham win another free-kick in a decent area, but Soucek tugs Stones down as Lingard fires it into the area and City, gratefully, win a free-kick of our own.

90'

Added time

Four minutes added and it's roles reversed here as City have 11 men back in our own half. 

West Ham win a corner after Zinchenko's thunderous tackle on Coufal, but Dias twice heads clear.

87'

Big header

Lingard wins a free kick in a decent position on the left of the goal. It's whipped in by Cresswell, but Dias gets up to head it clear and Foden wins a free-kick that byes us some time.

78'

Blocked

So many teams come to the Etihad with the intention of frustrating City, but few do.

West Ham certainly have and their defending has been stoic throughout, with Mahrez the latest man to be denied as he sees two shots blocked on the edge of a crowded penalty area.

Goal was coming

From Neil Leigh at the Etihad:

You felt a goal was coming and how appropriate that its fellow centre back John Stones who has restored our advantage.

Together with opening goal scorer Ruben Dias, the England man has been in inspired form all season at the heart of our defence – but  he’s now developing the knack of weighing in with crucial strikes.

Still more than 15 minutes to go and West Ham remain a dangerous threat in attack but it could prove to be another big moment for Stones and City.

73'

Treatment

Ederson is receiving some attention from our medical team after he collided with Fernandinho as he came to claim a cross.

🤞 it's nothing serious.

Open
68'

GOAL! City 2-1 West Ham

SUPER JOHN STONES!

We've been frustrated, but our pressure finally pays off.

It looked like the frustration would continue as Coufal headed a free-kick behind, before Soucek headed the resulting corner clear, but City kept it alive and worked it back to Mahrez on the right.

The Algerian twisted and turned before cutting the ball back to Stones, who smashed it past Randolph from 12-yards. 

The centre-backs deliver!

64'

Intercepted

Credit to West Ham, they're making life hard for City in attack whilst carrying a threat on the counter.

Lingard was at the heart of another good break, but he can't pick Coufal out on the right of the box as Torres gets back to intercept. 

End to end

From Neil Leigh at the Etihad:

You feel the game is really coming to the boil now.

That leveller has filled West Ham with confidence with Antonio a powerful threat and David Moyes’s men seeing much of the ball so far this half.

However some more brilliance from De Bruyne as he drove forward into the box almost saw KDB provide Sergio Aguero with the perfect comeback gift.

That said, the Hammers then drove straight up the other end with Lingard almost conjuring up a close range shot.

End to end stuff and a game you can’t take your eyes off.

59'

Ahhh!

Everything but the finish!

City break down the left through De Bruyne, who rides Diop's challenge and surges past Soucek to the byline.

Aguero is the only man in support, but the Belgian can't pick him out with his cutback, which rolls invitingly across the six-yard box.

It was begging for a touch.

Open
55'

Well wide

West Ham are proving difficult to break down here, so Kyle Walker takes matters into his own hands with an effort from distance.

He's 30-yards out to the right of the goal, but he drags his shot well wide of the goal. 

53'

Injury concern

West Ham goalkeeper, Darren Randolph, has required treatment from the physio and substitute David Martin is warming up.

Not sure what the issue is for Randolph, but Craig Dawson has taken over goal kick duties - a sight all Sunday League footballers can relate to.

48'

Well timed

Fernandinho showing why he's one of the best in the business in that defensive midfield role.

Lingard drives into the City area and the Brazilian makes a crucial intervention to stop him in his tracks.

The Hammers midfielder went down and it was checked by VAR, but it was a perfectly timed tackle. 

46'

Second half

Back under way at the Etihad.

West Ham are probably feeling the happier of the two teams right now, but let's see what we can do in the second 45.

HT

Richard Dunne - More width required

"We need to be sharper. Things need to move quicker. We’re not seeing much of Gundogan or Aguero. We need to keep a bit more extra width. A lot of it has been playing through the middle so maybe we need to stay wide more."

HT

From Neil Leigh at the Etihad

That late leveller from Michail Antonio has taken the gloss off what had up until then being another highly encouraging first 45 minutes.

That stunning cross from Kevin De Bruyne to Ruben Dias had not only helped give us the lead but also saw the brilliant Belgian enter the top ten of all-time Premier League assists, with it being the 77th of his illustrious career.

However, West Ham demonstrated just why they are vying for a Champions League place by drawing level right on the stroke of half-time when Antonio fired in Jesse Lingard’s goal bound effort.

It’s not quite what we wanted – but it does set the scene for a fascinating second half.

HT

Michael Brown - Room for improvement

"Not as clinical as we expected. The opportunities were not as much as you would expect. Great to see Dias getting the rewards for some successful performances all season. There’s room for improvement. This is where Pep is great at half time."

Watch Brown and Richard Dunne's half-time analysis on We're Not Really Here now. ☝️

HT

Half-time: City 1-1 West Ham

All square at the break after Antonio cancels out Dias' opener.

And on the balance of play, it's a fair scoreline.

All to play for in the second half.

Open
43'

Goal. City 1-1 West Ham

Antonio taps in from a yard to level things up.

It's a good passage of play from West Ham, who switch the ball to Coufal in space on the right. His low cross is steered towards goal by Lingard and Antonio darts between two City defenders to make sure it crosses the line.

Game on.

Open
39'

Off the post!

Antonio is inches away from netting an equaliser!

The visitors release Lingard down the right wing (he looked like he might be offside) and whilst his low cross evades Fornals, it's perfect for Antonio.

The striker's touch isn't the best, but he digs a shot out on the swivel that bounces off the outside of the post. A better connection and he would have been celebrating.

Just what we needed

From Neil Leigh at the Etihad:

What a way to mark your first City goal!

City had been dominating possession and territory but without really threatening Darren Randolph’s goal when suddenly a piece of Kevin De Bruyne magic put in Ruben Dias for a perfect close range header.

De Bruyne fired in a stunning, arcing 30 yard ball which begged to be finished and Dias more than answered the call.

Just what we needed as the first 30 minutes up until then had seen us dominate possession and territory without really pressuring Darren Randolph’s goal.

Indeed it has been the visitors who have come closest thanks to Antonio’s aerial presence against Ederson and Lingard’s subsequent blocked effort.

But Ruben’s header has put us in the driving seat.

31'

Driven

We've got our tails up here.

Torres makes a surging run inside off the left wing and, with space to shoot, he stings Randolph's palms from 25-yards.

It was too close to the keeper to really trouble him.

Open
30'

GOAL! City 1-0 West Ham

GET IN! Dias gives us the lead with a brilliant header from an equally brilliant ball from De Bruyne.

The Belgian drills a pinpoint delivery into the box from wide on the right and the Portuguese defender ghosts in behind his marker to power a header past Randolph from six-yards.

It's been a slow start, but our first effort on goal puts us in front here.

Open
28'

In the book

Hammers' left-back Johnson is the first man in the referee's notebook after hauling Mahrez down as he darts past him on the wing.

De Bruyne's free-kick comes to nothing and Cresswell heads behind for a corner when the ball is sent back into the box.

26'

Crowded out

West Ham are looking resolute in defence here. 

City are knocking it about nicely, with Fernandinho and De Bruyne exchanging passes on the edge of the area, but the Hammer's back win it back when the Belgian tries to slide one through for Aguero.

City yet to have a shot on target.

19'

Chances!

West Ham's first attack causes chaos in the City after Soucek heads Lingard's deflected effort back across the six-yard box.

Neither Ederson or Antonio wins the ball and it drops invitingly for Lingard, but his angled drive is blocked by Dias.

Frantic defending from our boys, but we got the job done!

15'

Patient start

From Neil Leigh at the Etihad:

"A patient feel to the first 15 minutes with City seeking to get the measure of our opponents and probing for space and openings in and around the Hammers box.

"Oleks Zinchenko, who has been excellent of late, is operating in the floating full-back role that’s has become the hallmark of Joao Cancelo and is seeing plenty of the early ball.

"Sergio Aguero has also given the West Ham defence food for thought with his lively presence in the penalty area.

"Intriguing so far but you feel the contest is just waiting to shift up a gear."

13'

Crucial intervention

A change of pace takes De Bruyne past two defenders in the West Ham penalty area before he cuts back for Torres, but Soucek recovers and gets a vital touch on the ball to prevent the Spaniard from connecting with his attempted shot.

Better from City.

11'

Cleared

Mahrez gets the ball in a promising position on the right and checks inside to cross, but he can't pick out a blue shirt and Dawson heads clear.

Open
6'

Let off

We may have just got away with one there! 

The ball was played back to Ederson on his goalline and he elected to play a short ball to Fernandinho inside his area, but the Brazilian was closely watched by Soucek, who pounced in an attempt to win the ball.

Fortunately the City skipper got his body in the way to win a foul.

4'

Extra man

No Joao Cancelo today, but left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is already stationing himself in midfield when the opportunity presents itself. 

It's become such a key role in this City team.

2'

Front foot

City assume control of possession immediately with a promising move developing down the right flank, but Kevin De Bruyne's attempt to slip Riyad Mahrez in behind is cut out.

12:28

Moments away!

The players are out on the pitch and we are minutes away from kick-off. Here's a reminder of how the teams line up today...

CITY: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Fernandinho (C), Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Torres, Aguero.

WEST HAM: Randolph, Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell, Johnson, Rice (C), Soucek, Fornals, Lingard, Antonio.

12:21

Facts and figures

🔹 City are enjoying the longest competitive winning streak in history by an English top-flight team and 13 of our 19 successive victories have come in the league.

🔹 We are unbeaten in 26 games across all competitions (W23, D3) - two matches shy of our longest run without defeat under Pep Guardiola, set in 2017.

🔹 City have not trailed at any point in our past 17 league fixtures,      conceding just four goals.

🔹Our tally of 15 clean sheets is the most by any team after 25 top-flight games since 2008-09.

🔹 Ilkay Gündogan has scored nine Premier League goals in 2021, four more than any other player.

🔨 West Ham have won seven of their nine Premier League games in 2021.

🔨 The Hammers are in the top four after 25 top-flight matches for the first time since 1986, when they finished third.

🔨 A seventh away win of the season this Saturday would equal the club's Premier League record for a single campaign, last achieved in 2015-16.

12:14

Aguero looking in good spirits

From Neil Leigh at the Etihad:

"Of course today’s big team news is the welcome return to the City starting line-up of Sergio Aguero. Following injury and illness, it’s Kun’s first start since late October – ironically for our Premier League away game at West Ham.

"Not surprisingly Sergio – along with the rest of the City squad – looked in great spirits as they went through their pre-match routines with late February sunshine bathing the Etihad. 

"And with City still very much in the hunt for silverware on four fronts - and the season fast approaching its business end - the return of our master marksman and all-time record scorer couldn’t be more timely.

"How crucial a figure could Aguero prove over the next three defining months?"

12:10

Richard Dunne - West Ham can hurt City

Our We're Not Really Here guest has earmarked West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek as someone who could pose a threat to City today.

"He’s someone who can cause trouble. His instincts inside the box are great and he’s like a copy of what Moyes had at Everton in terms of Fellaini. He has the instinct to be in the right place at the right time. They have what it takes to hurt City."

12:03

Pep - We have a fantastic squad

The boss has completed his pre-match media duties. Here's what he had to say:

"After three quarters of the league they are in Champions League positions. It’s because of many many games that they do well. They’re having a fantastic season.

"There’s many games, we had two days of recovery and we have a fantastic squad. Everyone deserves to play. Fresh legs and a good mentality.

"We knew they can play the normal shape but they’re playing with the 5 at the back. They did it against us before. They have incredible two holding midfielders. We will try to impose our game."

11:55

Neil Leigh - Live from the Etihad

The games keep coming thick and fast for record-breaking City as we welcome West Ham to the Etihad – and it’s an early 12.30pm start on this bright and sunny Saturday.

Last Wednesday’s superb 2-0  Champions League win against Borussia Monchengladbach made it 19 consecutive wins for City who, incredibly, have now racked up 26 games unbeaten all told since our loss at Spurs in late November.

Every challenge that has been asked of Pep Guardiola’s squad since then, the players have responded in magnificent fashion – and there is no doubt that today’s visit of the Hammers will provide another stern examination.

It’s also a mouth-watering prospect given that West Ham have emerged as the Premier League’s other in-form side with the East Londoners having risen to fourth place in the table after a superb run of recent form over the past few weeks.

Both managers were highly complimentary of each other in Friday’s pre-match build-up with Hammers boss David Moyes memorably describing Pep Guardiola as the Heston Blumenthal of football management due to the way the boss constantly devises new and revolutionary styles of approaching football .

Cannot wait to see what Pep and the players cook up this afternoon!

11:48

Michael Brown - Aguero may need time

"It’s great to see him back. Aguero might not play 90 minutes, but if you need a goal and it’s a tight game, he would be the one you want. He’s the best finisher in the business. I think it will take a bit of time to get him back up to pace, that comes with injuries, but if he gets the chance in the box, then I expect him to take it. To fit back into the style of the whole team, I think he will take a bit of time."

11:40

Aguero happy to be back

It's nearly two months since Sergio Aguero last played for City in the Premier League. He's missed 10 league games since the 3-1 win at Chelsea on 3 January and, understandably, he's pretty pleased to be back in the starting XI!

"I’m happy to be back. I’m with good feelings and I hope to have a good game. I think I’m feeling good, the team is good. For me we have to keep playing the same way. I enjoy watching but I prefer to play!

"It’s been a long time [since I started]. West Ham are strong and they are in the top 4. I think we have to play as we always do in the last games. We have to keep it the same. We are in a good moment so we have to keep it going."

11:36

We're Not Really Here 📺

Michael Brown and Richard Dunne are live now and you can get involved in the show by using #WNRH on Twitter.

Tune in ☝️

11:33

West Ham team

David Moyes makes two changes from the team which started last week's 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Darren Randolph replaces Lukasz Fabianski in goal, while Ben Johnson returns in place of Jarrod Bowen, which suggests the visitors may deploy five man defence..

WEST HAM: Randolph, Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell, Johnson, Rice (C), Soucek, Fornals, Lingard, Antonio.

SUBS: Trott (GK), Martin (GK), Balbuena, Noble, Bowen, Lanzini, Benrahma, Odubeko.

11:30

Team news 🔵📋

Sergio Aguero starts for the first time since our 1-1 draw with West Ham back in October as Pep Guardiola makes seven changes to the side that kicked-off against Borussia Monchengladbach in midweek.

Kevin De Bruyne also returns to the XI after a watching brief in Budapest, with Ederson, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Ilkay Gundogan the four men retained from the Champions League victory.

CITY: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Fernandinho (C), Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Torres, Aguero.

SUBS: Steffen, Sterling, Jesus, Laporte, Rodrigo, Bernardo, Mendy, Cancelo, Foden.

11:25

Head to Head 🆚

🔹 West Ham have failed to win our last eleven meetings in all competitions (D2 L9). Their last victory came in the league in September 2015, when they won 2-1 at the Etihad.

🔹 The 1-1 draw in this season's reverse fixture in October ended our nine-match winning run against the Hammers.

🔹 We have scored in 19 successive league and cup games against West Ham.

11:15

Pep - City an incredibly strong organisation

A 20th consecutive victory is the aim for City today. It's a remarkable run in a season when many teams have struggled for consistency and Pep Guardiola says it is a combination of our strength on and off the pitch. 

“First of all, we have an incredibly strong organisation. Lovely people. The backroom staff, staff, players. But when you achieve what this club has achieved in four years - winning a lot of games - you have to have top players.

“There are other clubs with bigger budgets. We have to live with this. We have an incredibly strong organisation. The club supports us. In all departments, it’s incredible. It was the same in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

“All departments in the club - we are a machine. But to win what we have done in the last four seasons - we won a lot of games, arrived in finals and won titles - you have to have good players.”

11:00

Managerial praise

Pep Guardiola and David Moyes were very complimentary about each other before kick-off and both made some rather interesting comparisons…

Guardiola on Moyes:

“The season will speak for itself - he knows football perfectly. Like Carlo Ancelotti, everything is calm. They live like a Buddha life! They have that experience to do this. It will be a really tough game tomorrow, really tight. They are a good team.

"He always takes care of me. My first game in England was against Sunderland. He was there and was so kind. He gave me advice on how to handle the Premier League."

Moyes on Guardiola:

"Pep is the Heston Blumenthal of football. Blumenthal will do something stupid or outrageous that you would never dream of, like mixing chocolate with eggs and you think 'that is never going to work, it is not going to taste right or look good'. But it does.

"Pep does things in football terms which are remarkable, that lots of other people would not have thought of. I hold him in such high esteem. He is innovative and always looking for new ideas.”

10:45

Injury news

Today’s teams will be announced at 11:30, though we do already know both teams will have players absent today.

City’s squad is in better health than our opponents, with Nathan Ake the only man to miss out as he remains sidelined with a muscular problem. We could see Sergio Aguero in Premier League action for the first time since 3 January after he made his return in the midweek win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Hammers will be without Andriy Yarmolenko, Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku, whilst full-back Ryan Fredericks is a fitness doubt due to a groin injury. 

10:35

BT Sport offer

Today’s game, plus four others will be shown live on BT Sport in the next month and you can sign up for a BT Sport Monthly pass to get all five games for £25! *

SIGN UP HERE

*Available to UK viewers only.

10:30

We’re Not Really Here

Michael Brown and Richard Dunne are the guests on today’s matchday show and they are joined by presenter Natalie Pike in the studio at the Etihad Stadium.

The duo will be providing the usual mix of pre and post-match analysis and opinion and you can watch it all right here in the Matchday Centre.

The pre-match show begins at 11:30, with Brown and Dunne returning at half-time to summarise the opening 45 minutes and again after the full-time whistle for half an hour of post-match reaction.

Essential matchday viewing!

10:25

Matchday greetings 👋

Good morning!

And welcome to the Matchday Centre for Manchester City’s Premier League home game against West Ham United.

The fixtures are coming thick and fast, but Pep Guardiola’s side keep wracking up the wins and today we’ll be looking to record a 20th consecutive victory in all competitions against David Moyes’ high flying Hammers. 

Kick-off is at 12:30 (UK) and from here on out we’ll have live updates taking you through the pre-match build-up, match action and post-match reaction. 

Stay tuned!

Other games that day

  • West Bromwich Albion1
    Brighton and Hove Albion0
    FT
  • Newcastle United1
    Wolverhampton Wanderers1
    FT
  • Leeds United0
    Aston Villa1
    FT

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Manchester United 25 +21 49
3 Leicester City 25 +17 49
4 West Ham United 26 +9 45
5 Chelsea 25 +16 43
6 Liverpool 25 +11 40
7 Everton 24 +4 40
8 Aston Villa 24 +12 39
9 Tottenham Hotspur 24 +10 36
10 Leeds United 26 -1 35
11 Arsenal 25 +5 34
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 26 -6 34
13 Crystal Palace 25 -14 32
14 Southampton 25 -12 30
15 Burnley 25 -12 28
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 26 -7 26
17 Newcastle United 26 -17 26
18 Fulham 25 -11 22
19 West Bromwich Albion 26 -35 17
20 Sheffield United 25 -26 11
Link To Full Table