Football Article

Manchester City Win Rearranged Fixture against West Ham

Manchester City Win Rearranged Fixture against West Ham Photo: TT
Manchester City Regain Second Spot

Manchester City beat West Ham 2-0 at the Etihad but fears for the lack of European competition next two seasons remain.

This match was rearranged after the original game was called off because of the threat to public safety caused by Storm Ciara the weekend before last.

It was also the first game for Manchester City since it was announced that they have been banned from European competitions for the next two seasons by UEFA for breaching the rules on Financial Fair Play (FFP). The club are set to take their appeal against the ban to CAS (The Court of Arbitration for Sport), but, as things stand, however high they finish in the table this season, there will be no European football at the Etihad next season, or the one after that.

This has potentially serious implications for the club, not so much financially, as they are well backed, but in terms of being able to attract and retain the best talent. And, although he has pledged to stay, the future of manager Pep Guardiola is also in some doubt.

Whether the news affected the mood of City supporters or whether it was because of the competing Champions League on TV, the crowd was definitely down on normal, with large swathes of empty seats.

City tore into the attack and should have taken an early lead when David Silva found Gabriel Jesus clear in the box, but he chose to take a touch rather than shooting, and the West Ham defenders got back to clear. A few minutes later Jesus had another chance, but shot straight at Lucasz Fabianski in the West Ham goal.

City though were dominant, and took the lead when Kevin de Bruynes excellent header was met by Rodrigo at the near post and his glancing header found the net before Aymeric Laporte got a touch on the line.

City scored their second just after the hour mark, after a typical passing move with Kevin de Bruyne at the heart, and it was his ball to Bernardo Silva that fell back in to his path, and the Belgian rifled home.

At the other end West Ham offered precious little, and it took them until 15 minutes from time before they even gave their fans a shot at goal to cheer about, Michael Antonio blazing over from distance.

The win moves City back to second in the table although they are still 22 points behind Liverpool. West Ham are 18th and in the relegation places.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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