Saturday, September 19, 2015

Once Again, It Happened In England: West Ham shcoks Manchester City

Manchester City 1-2 West Ham
This match embodied everything there is to love about the Premier League. it may not have the best clubs in the world. It may not succeed on the continental stage. But I'll be damned if it doesn't produce the mosh shocking results of any European League. More so than any of its peers, one team can upset another on any given matchday. That is exactly what we got here.

It was West Ham shocking everyone once again in the opening five minutes. Just after the five minute mark, Victor Moses took a low shot that the City defense dared him to take. His low curling effort evaded a diving Joe Hart and the visiting underdogs had themselves an early one goal lead.

Manchester City should have levelled before nine minutes were up. Samir Nasri got behind Adrian, West Ham's keeper. He took the shot, but he was off balance and the ball bounced well wide of the gaping target. In general, this was City's game to lose. They had all of the possession, and it almost looked like West Ham were barely hanging on.

Despite all that City pressure, West Ham shockingly went ahead 2-0 thanks to a tough shot from Diafra Sakho off a corner that probably should not have been a corner. On the preceding play, it looked as if City had kept the ball in play as the referee's whistle blew saying otherwise.  Here were the Hammers up 2-0 as underdogs on the road against a team that was yet to do anything except win games this season. Shock is the only way to describe what we all were seeing. The only question was, how long would it last?

The question had to be asked because City kept pounding Adrian's goal with shots after the second goal. There were several instances of wondering how City didn't score. Sergio Aguero has his fair share of chances in the waning moments of the first half, but Adrian and the West Ham defense were up to the challenge each and every time. That is, until Kevin De Bruyne managed to fire a low shot past him in the second minute of first half stoppage time. The red haired Belgian managed to get some space in the center of the pitch before launching the bouncing ball inside the far post.
The goal breathed some new life in the Citizens, as they had a couple more great opportunities before the halftime whistle went.

The second half featured Man City taking shot after shot, earning corner after corner (they ended the match with 16 of them), and basically doing everything except scoring a goal. West Ham's defending was stout. They blocked every shot they could while trying to make every clearance count. That last port was often a struggle. Eight men were behind the ball at all times, so it was hard for them to find any real outlet to relieve the attacking pressure, let alone for a counter attack.

What couple breaks forward West Ham had were quickly foiled by either Manchester City getting back to their own third responsibly or by West Ham's unwillingness to push additional numbers forward. As time ticked towards the end, West Ham's defense became nine, and eventually ten, outfield players trying to clog the box and rob their opponents of any space to work. In the end, it worked and West Ham stormed into the Etihad and left with three more unbelievable points.

West Ham has waltzed into road games against Arsenal, Liverpool, and now Manchester City and left with nine out of nine points while outscoring their top four contending opponents 7-1. I hesitate to say that this West Ham squad is for real, I still don't feel like there has been enough proof. I am not sure they have the depth to contend with the big boys over the long haul, but they have been off to a pretty fun start to this season.

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