Manchester City extended their unbeaten run to the Premier League season in stunning fashion as they ran out 4-0 winners over West Ham at the London Stadium.
After an even start to the match, it was the visitors who took the lead. A fluid build up from the back saw the ball fall to Raheem Sterling on the right hand side, whose cross deflected off a West Ham body and found David Silva – who made no mistake in slotting the ball underneath Lukasz Fabianski from close range.
Things soon went from bad to worse for West Ham after some neat play from Leroy Sane beat former City defender Pablo Zabaleta on the wing, with the German then driving a cross into the area where Sterling was waiting to tap in from three yards to put the visitors 2-0 up after just 18 minutes.
The Hammers initially responded well to going two goals behind, but they were cut open once again on the half hour mark. Sterling squared the ball to Sane, who then showed great composure to fool Fabian Balbuena and Fabianski with a fake shot before slotting the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-0.
City were able to see the rest of the game out with ease and even added a fourth goal through Sane in injury time.
Key Talking Point
Whilst nobody realistically expected West Ham to take all three points from the game prior to kick off, they perhaps would've hoped for a slightly less spineless performance coming out of the international break.
The Hammers went 3-0 down just after the half hour mark and never looked to trouble Ederson in the Manchester City goal as they struggled to keep hold of the ball, and never looked like settling into the game.
One positive the fans can take is that they will now head into a run of fixtures which include many games in which they will be favourites to take a couple of points from.
Staring XI: Fabianski (5); Masuaku (4), Diop (5), Balbuena (5), Zabaleta (6); Obiang (5), Rice (6); Anderson (6*), Antonio (6), Diangana (6); Arnautovic (6).
Substitutes: Cresswell (6), Hernandez (6), Perez (6).
STAR MAN - On an afternoon where few West Ham players could hold their heads up high, Felipe Anderson looked like the Hammers' biggest threat throughout. He himself didn't create too many chances, but he did at least put up some resistance to City's onslaught.
Anderson will likely be disappointed he didn't create more on the day, but on an afternoon to forget for the club he can at least take some pride from the game.
WORST PLAYER - It proved to be a very long afternoon for Arthur Masuaku. Matched up with Sterling on the left hand side, the City winger ran him riot throughout the first half as the left-back failed to ever settle into the game. The defender failed to track Sterling's run to the back post for City's second goal, before then falling asleep in the build up to the third goal.
Masuaku off thank Christ— . (@lanzinigoat) November 24, 2018
Masuaku CANNOT DEFEND !!! how many times before it sinks in ?— Mark (@Stanwhu1) November 24, 2018
He allowed the winger to pass through once again before setting up Sane for City's third goal. His afternoon was brought to an abrupt end as he was substituted during the break, a true reflection of his performance on an afternoon he'll certainly want to forget in a hurry.
Key Talking Point
Like they have been on so many occasions this campaign, City were devastating going forward. After weathering an early storm of pressure from West Ham, it took them just 11 minutes to break the deadlock and by the 34th minute, they were 3-0 up and in full control of the match.
It looked as though everyone wanted to get in on the act in the kind of display we've become very used to seeing in recent times. They were able to see the rest of the game out with very little drama, as they wore down the home side by passing the ball all over the pitch.
City have now extended their unbeaten start to the Premier League season through 13 games, and with a performance like that it's very hard to see anyone stopping them anytime soon.
Starting XI: Ederson (6); Delph (7), Laporte (7), Otamendi (7), Walker (6); Gundogan (7), Fernandinho (7), Silva (8); Sane (8) Aguero (7), Sterling (9*).
Substitutes: Foden (6), Mahrez (6), Jesus (6).
STAR MAN - He's put in some impressive displays in recent weeks, and Sterling continued his hot form with another fine performance. He caused the West Ham defence problems down the right hand side from the first minute till the last, assisting both Silva and Sane in their goals with two very inviting crosses.
Raheem Sterling has now been directly involved in more goals (13) than any other player in the Premier League this season. #JustSaying— Lisa Hassan (@Likelylassmcfc) November 24, 2018
Raheem Sterling’s game has matured soo much — P.N.U.T (@mokoenaph) November 24, 2018
Raheem Sterling is the best player England have produced since Rooney.— Cem (@cemtopcam) November 24, 2018
He got himself on the scoresheet with a real poacher's effort at the far post, his seventh goal of the season. It was an afternoon to remember for the 23-year-old as he continues to play a big part in what has been a prolific City team.
WORST PLAYER - He didn't have a bad game by any means, however on a day where City's attackers stole the show, Sergio Aguero had a relatively quiet game by his standards.
He would've been licking his lips at the prospect of adding to his goal tally, especially with his side 3-0 up before half time. Alas for Fantasy Premier League players around the country, it wasn't to be.
There's no doubt Hammers fans will be devastated after the result, but they can now at least look forward to a slightly easier run of fixtures to come, starting with a trip to Newcastle on Saturday.
As for City, they'll look to extend their unbeaten run when they travel to France to face Lyon - the only team to beat them so far this season - in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Source : 90min