Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Hammers unnerve the champions-elect

Manchester City extended their winning run to 20 matches and moved 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League as John Stones’ second-half strike was enough to secure victory over our resilient men.

We gave City a decent game at Etihad Stadium and fought back to level through Michail Antonio before the break, after Stones’ central-defensive partner Ruben Dias had put the hosts in front.

Beaten but not broken Hammers

We may have been beaten but er did enough to show there is substance behind our drive towards the top end of the Premier League this season.

Jesse Lingard’s arrival on loan from Manchester United during the transfer window has added another attacking element to our play and restored the 28-year-old forward to the form that brought him England recognition.

Lingard had a powerful shot blocked by Stones and it was his misdirected effort that was turned home by Antonio to pull us level.

Considering it was the first time an opposition player had scored at the Etihad since Mohamed Salah’s penalty for Liverpool on 8 November, it was no mean achievement.

There were moments when it appeared we might take it further as the pace of Lingard and Antonio, allied to the midfield industry of Declan Rice caused anxiety in the home defence.

Antonio hit a post just before he scored and, in injury time, Issa Diop had goalkeeper Ederson scrambling to reach a header that bounced narrowly wide.

“I’m really disappointed we didn’t get a point. It was a terrific performance. We came here and tried to match a top side – and for long periods we did. I can’t promise to deliver European football to West Ham. I’ve hoped that we can try and be top 10. We can’t get carried away because we’re up against teams who are used to being at the top of the league. We’re the newcomers, for sure, but we’ve put on a good show and I hope this performance gives us momentum and energy for the rest of the season.”

David Moyes speaking to the BBC’s Match of the Day

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