West Ham 2-1 Manchester City: 5 things we learned

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Upton Park was the setting for one of the games of the season on Saturday as West Ham continued their spectacular form by deservedly beating the reigning Premier League champions Manchester City.

A resurgent, liberated Hammers put in the best performance of their already enthralling campaign to leave their fans in a state of disbelief upon the final whistle.

The Boleyn ground was rocking throughout the thrilling encounter as goals from Morgan Amalfitano and super-striker Diafra Sakho gave the home side a two-goal lead, before David Silva got a classy consolation for Manuel Pelligrini’s men.

Here we take a look at five things we learnt from West Ham’s victory.

1. This Hammers side can mix it with the best

Last term City inflicted a lot of punishment on Sam Allardyce’s outfit during their four meetings but this result demonstrates just how far they have come since then.

Each West Ham player left absolutely everything on the pitch and they got the reward that their efforts deserved. They outplayed City for the majority of the first-half and even in the second, when it looked likely a late equaliser was on the way, the Hammers showed great resilience and concentration at the back to hold out for the win.

Enner Valencia and Sakho ran one of the best centre-back’s in world football, Vincent Kompany, ragged with their pace and movement. City’s defence couldn’t live with the strikers, while Alex Song was superb in midfield and eclipsed Yaya Toure with an exceptional display.

Performing like that, with the crowd fully behind them, who knows what this West Ham team can achieve this season.

2. Super Song

Song continues to look like one of the signings of the season and possibly the best transfer Allardyce has ever pulled off.

The on-loan Barcelona man’s composure, control and strength in midfield was world class throughout the match and he could get in to any Premier League side in this form. He completed 23/30 passes and won possession 16 times. He was simply immense, patrolling the midfield, fetching and carrying, disrupting City attacks and always picking the right passes.

Song was instrumental in everything and it was he that delivered the cutting pass that unlocked the City defence, setting Valencia free in the build-up to the first goal, converted at close range by Amalfitano.

3. Cresswell’s left-foot is a thing of beauty

Aaron Cresswell is proving to be another shrewd acquisition and his performance against City was superb. The 24-year-old acted as Sakho’s provider once again as the lethal striker nodded home his seventh goal in as many starts. It was the second assist of the season for the full-back, who has created an impressive 15 chances in the nine matches so far.

He registered 13 assists for Ipswich last term, an incredible feat for a defender, and the pace, energy and sublime delivery he provides with that wand of a left-foot is invaluable.

4. Adrian deserves No.1 spot

The Spanish stopper has been questioned of late after some unconvincing performances; however he looked back to his best against City so we can assume he was just going through a blip.

He commanded his box from start to finish, caught just about every cross that came in and made a string of superb saves. His assured display was key and a massive boost for the Hammers as the game reached a nervous end with City pushing for an equaliser, but he and the defence stood strong.

5. Team spirit is soaring

Perhaps the moment that set the tone for the entire match was when Cresswell chased his man all the way back from the halfway line to his own penalty area. The work rate on display from every player was admirable and Allardyce could not have asked for more from his team.

This display was a culmination of all the good things West Ham have been doing this season, without the mistakes. They are brimming with belief, confidence and optimism but there is nothing that brings you back down to earth quite like a trip to the Britannia to face Stoke.

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Alex Song
Premier League
West Ham United

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