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Why David Moyes’ West Ham can still finish in the top four despite Manchester City defeat

West Ham United lost 2-1 to Manchester City.
West Ham United lost 2-1 to Manchester City.
ANALYST
Modified 28 Feb 2021
Feature

The Premier League table does not lie, and currently West Ham United are one of the teams punching above their weight. The Hammers are fourth in the league table and deservedly so.

To be the fourth-best team in the Premier League, above the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal, after 25 league games is certainly no mean feat.

However, West Ham have been impressive this season, with manager David Moyes’ fingerprints all over the team. The Scotsman has made the Hammers very hard to beat as they aim to secure a place in Europe.

On Saturday, the Hammers fell to a 2-1 defeat against Manchester City. Just as the scoreline suggests, this was a very tight game, and West Ham gave Pep Guardiola’s side a run for their money.

West Ham were ultimately made to pay for their lapse in concentration despite Michail Antonio's equaliser. Ruben Diaz and John Stones struck either side of the interval to secure Manchester City their 20th win in all competitions in as many games.

West Ham are still capable of finishing in the top four

West Ham have chalked some very key results this season, culminating in their rise to fourth place in the Premier League. However, they have often struggled against the big teams.

Moyes’ side have already lost to Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and now Manchester City. However, their display against the Cityzens showed they can match any side in the division.

In players like Jesse Lingard, Michail Antonio, Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek, the Hammers have the right personnel to challenge for a place in Europe.

Except for Manchester City, other teams are likely to drop points in the course of the season. That augurs well for West Ham's chances of a top-four finish. At the moment, they may be up against it, but this is a side that has already proved naysayers wrong this season.

The rejuvenation of David Moyes at West Ham

In David Moyes, West Ham have a manager who has seen it all in the Premier League. Once branded a flop after his failed stint at Manchester United, he has rebuilt his reputation at West Ham.

The Hammers’ ascension into the top four is proof enough that Moyes is not a tactical dinosaur, as many have suggested in the past. He is a man rejuvenated, and even Pep Guardiola has been impressed.

In his pre-match press conference, the Manchester City manager praised Moyes for his impact at West Ham and believes the Hammers could qualify for Europe at the end of the season.

"They are in a Champions League position. That is not a good run, it is many months and they are there," Guardiola said, as quoted by Sky Sports. "It means how strong they are. What I saw is the rhythm increased a lot compared to previous seasons. The season speaks for itself. [Moyes] understands football perfectly and has a lot of experience. I dream of arriving one day where everything is calm [a bit] like Carlo Ancelotti.”

Moyes is back among the Premier League’s big boys and it’ll be a great achievement if he can take West Ham to the Champions League.

Published 28 Feb 2021
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