West Ham United lost their Premier League Asia Cup semi-final against Manchester City 4-1 but can take confidence from a display that was better than the final scoreline suggested.
Mark Noble’s penalty had given the Irons the lead, but last season’s Premier League champions rallied after the break and two goals from Raheem Sterling and one each from David Silva and Lukas Nmecha secured the victory for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Manuel Pellegrini picked a strong starting XI and was rewarded with a bright start as the Hammers gave City plenty to think about in the opening stages.
They took the lead on 26 minutes when Mark Noble converted from the penalty spot after Felipe Anderson had forced full-back Angelino to handle inside the area.
The lead, however, didn’t last long as Silva converted Bernabe’s excellent cross at the back post.Embed from Getty Images
City were ahead before half-time as Angelo Ogbonna felled Nmecha inside the box, with the youngster getting up to convert the spot kick himself.
Both team’s made several changes at the break and it was City – who boast a far larger squad – who took control of the game in the second half.
Sterling scored twice to increase the lead, although the Irons should have grabbed one back when Javier Hernandez fluffed a great team move.
And they were made to pay as Sterling added gloss to the scoreline as he converted Kevin De Bruyne’s unselfish lay-off.