Talking Points

City Strikers Too Hot For Hammers And Four Other Main Talking Points From The Citizens Defeat

David Moyes’ West Ham United were convincingly beaten by the champions Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Premier League at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon by a 1-4 scoreline with Leroy Sane, Pablo Zabaleta, Aaron Cresswell, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho all scoring, here’s Five Main Talking Points from the one-sided affair.

Sterling Stars As City Juggernaut Proves Too Hot To Handle For Hammers

Moyes’ West Ham would prove to be the latest lambs that the unstoppable City under Guardiola have been able to put to the slaughter this season in the freezing London Stadium temperatures, as they simply blew them away in the final third.

Now just a few points and a few goals from breaking the record for the most goals and most points in a single Premier League season records, and despite securing the title two weeks ago, were on a mission and turned out to be too much for the home defence.

A huge part of this was the England attacker Sterling, who terrorised all afternoon by assisting three of his team’s four goals and almost winning them a penalty to make the scoreline even more of a landslide in the favour of the visitors.

Sterling teed up Sane for his opener a shot from range that deflected off Patrice Evra and wrongfooted Adrian, giving the Spaniard next to no chance of saving, the Blue Moon forced the next goal a short while later, even though it did come in the form of an own-goal from City legend Pablo Zabaleta.

The ex-Liverpool star really came into his own in the second period, his pace and vision on the right flank was the favour that allowed him to set-up two further goals, excellent run and excellent passes for both Jesus and Fernandinho to finish, the Sky Blues and class act Sterling are a very exciting asset for English football at the moment.

Home Side Left To Ponder Otamendi Red Card Call Amid Self-Destructive Defensive Display

For all of the away side’s dominance on the afternoon, there can be little daunting the self-inflicted element of the loss for Moyes’ Hammers and they were let down by lapses of concentration and individual errors, mostly in defence once more where they have conceded the most goals in the Top-Flight this season.

The unforced errors started fairly early when the visitors opened the scoring in the aforementioned fashion, Evra’s deflection denying Adrian a routine save and instead diverting the ball past him, they continued to be prevalent throughout.

A short while later, a pacey Kevin De Bruyne cross from the right by-line was turned into their own-nets by a combination of Republic of Ireland youngster Declan Rice, who made a significant error at the Emirates Stadium last weekend and Zabaleta the veteran, touching the Argentine last, albeit the delivery was made harder to deal with by a slight touch that Adrian got on it on its way through.

The costly errors didn’t end there either and just after the half-time mark, they returned, playmaker Manuel Lanzini losing possession to visiting captain Fernandinho easily in midfield and allowing the Brazilian a one-two with Sterling to net his team’s fourth.

However, the East Londoners will have been left to mull over referee Neil Swarbrick’s decision not to send Blue Moon centre-back Nicolas Otamendi off in the first half for what appeared to be a pair of bookable tackles, the second of which came in the middle of the Irons’ best spell of the game just before the break, a different call there from the referee could have made for an entirely different outcome.

Cresswell Free-Kick Only Consolation For Toothless Irons

In spite of what was largely a miserable outing for the home supporters, they did have one moment at least to cheer in the first-half and that came in the form of a sensation set-piece strike from the full-back turned centre-back Cresswell.

With the Citizens two to the good in the 42nd minute and the Irons looking for a way back into the game, Edimilson Fernandes broke down the right side and saw his cross come back to him just inside the penalty area, he nipped the ball away from Ilkay Gundogan.

The German International bright him down with a free-kick on the edge of the box given, replays showing that it should have been a penalty, but nevertheless, it wouldn’t matter as Cresswell stepped up and raised the roof on London Stadium.

His stunning curling effort which nestled in the near comer despite a touch from Ederson between the sticks, was his first competitive goal in over two years, his last coming against the soon to be champions Leicester City, The iron’s next opponents, at the back end of the 2015/2016 season.

But, the hosts would have wondered if they should have been level before half-time when Hammer of the Year Marko Arnautovic stole the ball off Ederson on the cusp of the box and finished into an empty net, the challenge was pure strength from the Austrian but it was deemed a foul, a Sunday of what-could-have-beens for Moyes’ men.

Moyes’ Boys Fall Closer To Relegation Trap Door As Guardiola’s Men Continue PL Record Hunt

It’s now time to take a look at what this significant result meant for either teams’ outlook and position in the Premier League standings with three matches of the 2017/2018 campaign left to play.

A pricy loss for the East Londoners left them languishing just above the relegation zone, only ahead of it by three points, although they do have a game in hand on some of those around them, but that is a home match against the Red Devils.

In terms of their position, they stayed 15th when an unlikely win could have propelled them up into mid-table and all but secured their Top-Flight status for another season, however, it wasn’t to be and they remain dangerously on only 35 points for now.

Meanwhile, there are no such problems for Blue Moon, a fortnight after they were crowned PL champions for the third time as three points saw them temporarily open up a 19-point gap between themselves and their fierce rivals United behind them in second-place.

However, that gulf was closed back up at 16 by Jose Mourinho’s men’s late victory over Arsenal later in the afternoon, that could prove key to their bid of achieving the highest winning margin in a single season at this level as they close in various other accolades and achievements in what has been a phenomenal term for the Manchester club.

What Did The Managers Have To Say?

Let’s hear what both managers Moyes and Guardiola had to say after the match at London Stadium in their respective post-match press conferences, which West Ham Matters had the honour and the pleasure of being in.

David Moyes:

“Everybody at the moment is in full appreciation of what Man City can do, I am disappointed that we didn’t do better.

“They were far better than us, outstandingly good, we didn’t do well enough, found a way of getting back into it.

“But they were excellent, we didn’t defend as well as we have done against other big teams.

“We’ve got Manchester United and Everton still to come here at home and I hope that somewhere along the line, seeing as we’re in relatively good form at London Stadium, that we’ll get the win we need.”

Pep Guardiola:

“We respect the competition, respect the Premier League, It is not right to come here like we are on holiday, we have to respect the opponents.

“The last two games we have scored nine goals, done well defensively and it was a good performance, today I am happy.

“Before the game, we expect the best of the team, but it can be complicated we took it seriously, bar the last ten mins of the first half we were really good.

“I’m so happy that we scored more goals and now we need one more game to win the most points ever.”

So, now that everything there was to talk about from yet another afternoon to forget for the Hammers at London Stadium, will there be more positive points to draw on come next weekend? After the Claret & Blue stars have paid Claude Puel’s Leicester City a league visit at the King Power Stadium? Join us once again then to find out.

If you want to read more about West Ham United’s Premier League defeat to Manchester City at London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, you can check out the archives of our live text commentary, which we brought to you live from the Press Box of the former Olympic Stadium, or our Match Report or Hammers Player Ratings, simply click on the links.