Manchester City celebrate Ilkay Gundogan’s opener against West Ham United. Credit: Getty.
Only a snowy afternoon, the Etihad pitch was more white than green at times, but it was the hosts who adapted best to the adverse weather conditions.
Ilkay Gundogan netted the first goal of the game on 33 minutes, when he tapped in a Riyad Mahrez cross from close range, before Fernandinho’s late finish wrapped up all three points.
City weren’t at their usually imperious levels and the second half yielded few goalscroing opportunities, but the midfield three helped maintain possession and close out another tough encounter for the champions.
Manuel Lanzini scored for the Irons with almost the last kick of the game, although David Moyes’s men will be disappointed with their second-half showing.
Palmed away a Declan Rice shot on 78 minutes but had a relatively quiet afternoon. Could do nothing about Lanzini’s strike.
Kyle Walker- 6
Fired an effort wide on seven minutes but gave away more misplaced passes than his manager is used to.
Ruben Dias- 6
Calm and composed in and out of possession , the defender pulled off several well-timed tackles to dispossess the Hammers’ attackers.
Aymeric Laporte- 6
Wasn’t at his best on Sunday. He was turned twice by Michail Antonio in dangerous areas and was inches away from conceding a penalty after hacking the striker to ground.
Joao Cancelo- 7
Hooked away a curling cross from just under his crossbar in the early stages. The full-back was booked for a challenge on Pablo Fornals on the hour mark, but the Spaniard caused him few problems throughout the afternoon.
Excellent as always and played repeated balls out wide to City’s wingers, while also giving the West Ham midfield little room to operate in the centre of the park. His neat work in possession helped kill the game in the latter stages and earned him the Man-of-the-Match award in our eyes.
Bernardo Silva- 7
Continued his excellent level of performance this season and was always in a position to receive the ball. His magnificent turns all too often left the West Ham midfield bamboozled, and the No.20 scored in injury-time only to see it ruled out for offside.
Ilkay Gundogan- 7
Ghosted in to give the hosts a well-deserved first-half lead. As always, the midfielder rarely misplaced a pass, continuously moved the ball forward and impressed throughout. Gundogan was denied a second on 80 minutes thanks to Fabianski’s excellent save.
Gabriel Jesus- 7
One of City’s best players at the Etihad after his match-winning contribution on Wednesday. His movement, link play and dynamic dribbling gave City a real threat up front. Set up Fernandinho’s late goal after a superb run into the box.
Riyad Mahrez- 7
Smashed the ball past Fabianski in the first half only for it to be ruled out for offside. The Algerian then provided the cross for Gundogan’s opener in the 33rd minute.
Raheem Sterling- 7 (off 87)
The England international was quiet in the first half, although he did go close with an effort on 28 minutes. But Sterling came to life after the break and managed to wriggle out of several tight situations and keep the ball, while testing West Ham with a number of dangerous crosses and through balls into the box.
Fernandinho (on 87)
Netted with a rare touch after his late introduction.
West Ham ratings
Fabianski 7; Johnson 4, Dawson 6, Zouma 6, Cresswell 5 (Coufal 61; 5) Soucek 5, Rice 8; Fornals, Benrahma 6 (Lanzini 59; 5), Masuaku 5 (Bowen 74); Antonio 6.