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West Ham United 1-1 Manchester City: 5 talking points as City settle for draw against West Ham | Premier League 2020-21

West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League
West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League
ANALYST
Modified 25 Oct 2020, 00:30 IST
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Manchester City dropped points against West Ham United in their Premier League fixture tonight after a 1-1 draw, as their disappointing start to the 2020-21 campaign continued.

Pep Guardiola's side welcomed back Kevin De Bruyne but his 22-minute cameo from the bench failed to provide the spark for the visitors in the final third and they had to settle for a draw at London Park for the first time in six visits.

West Ham started the game brightly and were already one goal up in the 18th minute thanks to Michail Antonio's incredible acrobatic effort. City had a few chances in the first half but The Hammers held on to their slim lead heading into the break.

Striker Sergio Aguero made his third straight appearance but offered little threat in the first half and as a result, was substituted by Phil Foden when the game resumed in the second half. Foden delivered almost instantly and equalised from a Joao Cancelo cross in the 51st minute.

Soon after conceding the goal, West Ham suffered a double blow as their main goal-scoring threat Antonio had to be taken due to a muscle injury and they rarely tested the City defence after this. Raheem Sterling was denied by Lukasz Fabianski in the 86th minute and that was the last shot on target recorded by either side on goal.

Manchester City enjoyed the majority of the possession in the second half but a well-drilled West Ham side refused to allow them space and held on to secure a well-deserved point from the game.

Here we take a look at the five talking points and observations from the game.


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#5 Manchester City facing a defensive crisis

West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League
West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League

Manchester City have not kicked off their 2020-21 campaign the way they would've hoped as they have already lost once in the Premier League in five games, have a goal difference of 0 and are languishing at 12th in the league standings behind the likes of West Ham and Crystal Palace.

One of the biggest reasons for their slow start to the season is the injury crisis they find themselves in. Though a lot of players have returned, there are a few injury concerns in the defensive department. Sergio Aguero is also said to have picked up a knock in the game tonight.

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Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are still not match-fit. It is clear that Eric Garcia is still not developed enough to start in the Premier League. Buying Ruben Dias in the transfer window was a wise decision and the result could've been way worse for the four-time Premier League champions without a proven defender in the starting lineup.


#4 Pep Guardiola forced to use an unchanged squad due to injuries

West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League
West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League

Pep Guardiola had announced an unchanged squad for the first time in 172 games for Manchester City tonight, and for a club like them which has decent depth at every position, that's concerning.

Manchester City had recorded a comfortable 3-1 win over Porto with the same squad but struggled against West Ham, possibly due to exhaustion and also because the players have not played a lot of games together and are yet to form a solid bond.

Also, a series of injuries have kept some of Manchester City's first-team players out of action, including - Aguero, Laporte, Ake, Jesus and De Bruyne. Though De Bryune and Aguero are back in the fold, they were not playing at their full potential in this game. Unless City are back to full strength, they might continue to struggle.

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Also See: Top 5 Premier League players with most assists in a single season

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Published 25 Oct 2020, 00:30 IST
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