Man City 2 West Ham 1: Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho seal three points for champions in heavy Etihad Stadium snowNovember 28, 2021
ILKAY GUNDOGAN kept a cool head to help Manchester City claim the points at the frozen Etihad.
In heavy snow and treacherous conditions under foot, it would have been easy for the champions to slip up here.
But City were dancing on ice just after the half hour as Joao Cancelo and Riyad Mahrez teed up Gundogan to tap home.
And club captain Fernandinho fired home a late second off the post in a rare appearance from the bench to make it safe.
That makes it five straight wins for Pep Guardiola’s men – and that’s the kind of form that will send a shiver down the spine of their title rivals.
Just three points separated these two teams ahead of kick off and there was little to choose between them early on.
Aymeric Laporte’s flick header from a Gundogan corner clipped the top of the bar while Riyad Mahrez was denied the opening goal by the linesman.
But the Hammers also had their opportunites with Said Benrahma turning neatly on the edge of the box before bringing a smart save out of Ederson.
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Both Gundogan and Raheem Sterling went close for City before they finally made the breakthrough soon after the half hour.
Joao Cancelo played a superb cross field pass to pick out Mahrez on the right hand side of the box and open things up.
The Algerian cut in before firing over a cross shot that was turned in from close range by Ilkay Gundogan.
With the snow coming down heavier, City seemed to take it all in their stride and could have had the points in the bag by half time.
Gabriel Jesus sprang the offside trap to run onto a Mahrez through ball and beat Fabianski – only for Ben Johnson to get back and make a superb goalline clearance.
Then Cancelo’s low shot from the edge of the box was only parried by Fabianski and Mahrez hammered the rebound against outside of the post.
Ref Michael Oliver sanctioned an extended half-time for City’s ground staff to get the snow off the pitch – and what a job they did.
After the break Sterling’s delicious cross rolled into the path of Jesus but Fabianski got enough on his shot and Aaron Cresswell collided with the post as he cleared the loose ball.
West Ham hung in there but the game was over when Jesus rolled a pass back to Fernandinho on the edge of the box and he fired in off the post.
With the last kick of the game Manuel Lanzini pulled one back with a looping shot from the edge of the box but it was too little too late for the visitors.
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