By Gursimran Hans
West Ham’s first game in Iceland ended in defeat as Manchester City won the Super Match at Laugardalsvollur.
As was the case in the club’s meetings last year, Man City were faster, stronger and cleverer than the Irons.
Man City were ahead within eight minutes, Joe Hart took too long to clear against his parent side and Ogbonna’s pass to Masuaku was too short, Kevin De Bruyne picked up the ball and crossed for Gabriel Jesus to give Man City the lead.
Man City were then ripping West Ham apart with direct attacking play, West Ham simply could not get their foot on the ball. When they did things did not quite work out, with Toni Martinez being isolated up on his own, he showed good hold up play but couldn’t get direction a rare headed chance.
Andre Ayew meanwhile was making direct runs on the right wing but was unable to find teammates.
Marko Arnautovic was making storming runs on the left but he just wasn’t found.
Declan Rice and Javier Hernandez came on at half time. Rice, gave a good showing at defensive midfield but was too slow for the opponents, Hernandez meanwhile was making a nuisance of himself and played in Edimilson Fernandes with a delightful through ball, Fernandes got clear of his marker, but shot straight at Ederson.
Moments later, West Ham were two goals down. An exquisite through ball from Leroy Sane played in David Silva, who gave yet another maestro performance against West Ham and crossed for an unmarked Aguero.
Marko Arnautovic later went off injured, which is sure to cause concern. Hernandez was later played in and did well to get away from Adarabioyo but was crowded out and Snodgrass wasn’t quick enough.
Raheem Sterling then finished another fine move to give Man City a three goal lead. Andre Ayew would later pickpocket Elaquim Mangala and finish but the goal was ruled out for a foul. Replays showed Ayew won the ball fairly and that Mangala had actually kicked out on Ayew after losing the ball.
Man City had numerous chances but Hart was there to make the saves. At the back, Byram made some good blocks and Fonte was doing a fine job as a ball playing defender and Masuaku continued to look class. Yet the lack of a defensive midfield shield and Man City’s constant pressure and lightning attack gave Man City what they needed to get the win.
West Ham looked incredibly lackadaisical just a week before the Premier League opener at Manchester United. What’s worse this game came against Premier League opposition. It was always a bit weird to be playing Man City who have looked a cut above throughout pre-season and to lose this badly can’t help team morale. There were some positives, but the gulf in quality cannot be more abundantly clear.
Manchester City – Ederson, Kompany (C) (Adarabioyo ’74), Stones (Fernandinho ’60), Otamendi (Roberts ’74), Yaya Toure (Bernado ’60), De Bruyne (Mangala ’60), Sane (Zinchenko ’60), Silva (Diaz ’74), Danilo (Foden ’60), Jesus (Sterling ’60), Aguero (Walker ’60).
Unused Subs – Muric, Grimshaw.
Goalscorers – Gabriel Jesus ‘8, Sergio Aguero ’57, Raheem Sterling ’70.
West Ham United – Hart, Zabaleta (Byram ’45), Fonte, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Noble (c) (Rice ’45), Obiang, Ayew (Holland ’85), Fernandes (Makasi ’85), Arnautovic (Snodgrass ’62), Martinez (Hernandez ’45).
Unused Subs -Adrian, Collins.