Search

Bold West Ham beaten but unbowed as champions show their class

PUBLISHED: 12:41 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:42 26 November 2018

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini gestures from the touchline during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini gestures from the touchline during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Ambitious Pellegrini goes for it with plusses and minuses in selection

Manchester City's Leroy Sane (right) gets away from West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.Manchester City's Leroy Sane (right) gets away from West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.

It is a strange state of affairs when you come off the field after a 4-0 home defeat and look at the positives of the game.

But when you are taking on champions Manchester City, it is always going to be tough and the fact that West Ham took the game to them and created plenty of chances was reason enough to be positive.

Boss Manuel Pellegrini was bold in playing Michail Antonio as a second striker and that worked.

What he got wrong was leaving the leadership skills of Mark Noble on the bench and more seriously, selecting Arthur Masuaku in the starting XI.

West Ham United's Declan Rice (left) and Manchester City's David Silva battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.West Ham United's Declan Rice (left) and Manchester City's David Silva battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.

The latter was awful. He didn’t mark, he didn’t tackle and he allowed City to attack at will down his side.

The fact that Pellegrini replaced him at half-time was an admission of what an error it was.

In previous games between the Hammers and City, we have seen the visitors win at a canter, almost taking the mickey out of West Ham.

Despite a similar scoreline, this was never the case on Saturday. The Hammers had a real go, made things uncomfortable for the champs and if they had their shooting boots on, it could have been a lot closer.

Manchester City's Fernandinho (back) and West Ham United's Michail Antonio battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.Manchester City's Fernandinho (back) and West Ham United's Michail Antonio battle for the ball during the Premier League match at The London Stadium, London.

“It is difficult, when you lose 4-0, to have positive things. But we created as much as Manchester City and had clear chances, but we didn’t score,” said manager Pellegrini.

“The three goals we conceded in the first half were not acceptable. They were very easy crosses inside the box without marking.”

He was right and it was a real shame because so much of West Ham’s play was good.

They attacked and ran and won tackles, but City were so clinical, their goals – three in the opening half hour – seemed incidental and were so easy.

With the game over at the break, City took their foot off the gas a little, but there was no damage limitation from Pellegrini.

“We continued playing the same way and had a couple of clear chances to score,” said the boss

“I was absolutely sure, with the power and pace of Antonio and Arnautovic, that we could create five or six clear chances to score, but you must take those chances.”

Remember when Antonio was a prolific scorer, especially with his head? Those days seem to be gone and when he was clean through, he lacked the confidence to put the ball away.

Andy Carroll may well have scored the headers that Arnautovic and Fabian Balbuena missed, but he remained on the bench throughout as Lucas Perez was inexplicably preferred.

“I don’t think we gave them too much respect,” said the boss. “If you saw the game from the first minute, we tried to dominate and we played the first 10 minutes more in their half than in our own.

“In the same way, if they scored a goal because we had too many players attacking, I would be upset, but we had all our defence in our own area, so I repeat, it was just a bad day of defending.”

Seasons are not determined by how you do against Manchester City. West Ham’s destiny this term will be defined by the games leading up to and over Christmas and the New Year.

They need to be more clinical themselves, but if they play with the same attitude as they did on Saturday, then they should be ok.

Newcastle on Saturday will be another tough game, but they are no Manchester City – thanks God!

Latest East London Sports News

The O’s head coach offered his views following the 1-0 loss to Maidenhead United

12:37

Great Britain’s men were defeated 2-0 by Australia while the GB women fell to a 3-0 loss in the latest FIH Pro League double header in Perth.

Jay Simpson set to make second debut for O’s and 100th appearance for the club

Yesterday, 13:00

Wesst Ham United can enjoy having a Saturday off this weekend with no game scheduled for the east Londoners following their early exit from the FA Cup.

Yesterday, 10:00

Tower Hamlets manager AJ Ashanike is looking forward to coming up against his former club Ilford under the Friday night lights.

Yesterday, 09:00

The former Brighton & Hove Albion ace praised the professionalism of players like Harrold and Lawless

Thu, 18:00

A round-up of the latest results from match involved Wapping Hockey Club teams

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists