Stubborn West Ham finally beaten by City spot-kick
PUBLISHED: 22:24 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 22:24 27 February 2019
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The Hammers were denied by a controversial penalty for champions Manchester City after valiant show
mqnchester City 1 West Ham United 0
Valiant West Ham put in a battling rearguard performance at champions Manchester City only to be beaten by a controversial penalty.
The Hammers were always under the cosh, but City could not find a way through until the hour mark when referee Stuart Attwell adjudged Felipe Anderson to have felled substitute Bernardo Silva.
It was a cruel fate for West Ham who had put in a stubborn display and became the first team this season to restrict City to just one goal in the Premier League.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini made five changes for this game with one eye bon Saturday’s home game with Newcastle United.
Ryan Fredericks, Samir Nasri, Pedro Obiang and Andy Carroll were all drafted in as well as teenage full-back Ben Johnson who came in for his Premier League debut.
It was a brave move by the boss, and in the first half, Johnson did well to frustrate Riyad Mahrez.
Inevitably though it was City who dominated early on and it looked like only a matter of time before they grabbed the lead.
Mahrez put one over the top after four minutes and just a minute later Kevin De Bruyne got to the by-line and pulled the ball back for David Silva, who beat Lukasz Fabianski, but hit the base of the post.
City continued to pressure, but West Ham looked solid and Issa Diop in particular was in inspired form with some telling interceptions.
On the half hour, Mahrez found space again as he cut inside Johnson, but this time he shot straight at Fabianski.
Ryan Fredericks was booked after trying to stop a Leroy Sane run by illegal means, but as the game got closer to half time, West Ham actually had some of the ball.
A sweet passing move saw the West Ham fans in good voice and a cross by Michail Antonio almost picked out Carroll only for Nicolas Otamendi to clear.
Manuel Lanzini replaced Nasri at half time and he almost set West Ham up for an unlikely opening goal.
The little Argentinian sent a raking ball across the City penalty area where Carroll got in a shot which was superbly saved by the acrobatic Ederson.
That was West Ham’s best chance and they never came close again.
It was brief respite as City continued to storm forward, but West Ham were organised and determined under the pressure.
City boss Pep Guardiola had rested some of his League Cup heroes from Sunday, but he was forced to bring on England winger Raheem Sterling before the hour mark to try and unlock the Hammers defence.
Bernardo Silva was also drafted in as City showed their strength in depth and he had an immediate impact as he ghosted into the box and was upended by Anderson.
It was a soft penalty, given by the referee, but Sergio Aguero was not going to turn down the opportunity and he sent Fabianski the wrong way from the spot.
Sterling forced a flying save from Fabianski with a shot from the edge of the box, while Carroll headed another goalbound shot off the line and Fabianski made another good save from Danilo, holding on to his rasping drive.
West Ham showed that defensive quality to the end and though they never looked like getting back on terms, they should be proud of their performance.
West Ham: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Johnson (Zabaleta 63), Antonio, Obiang, Rice, Anderson (Diangana 76), Nasri (Lanzini 45), Carroll.
Unused subs; Adrian, Snodgrass, Noble, Hernandez.
Booked: Fredericks, Antonio.
Referee: Stuart Attwell