football

West Ham end Manchester City's unbeaten run

City boss Manuel Pellegrini (right) had tried to quell talk of his team romping to the English Premier League title.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini (right) had tried to quell talk of his team romping to the English Premier League title. Reuters/Nigel Roddis

Manchester City's stunning start to the English Premier League season came to a halt after West Ham United won at the Etihad Stadium. The reverse followed City's setback on Tuesday night against Juventus in the Uefa Champions League.

Advertising

Manchester City’s 100 per cent record went up in smoke on Saturday night. The Premier League leaders were beaten 2-1 at home by West Ham United.

Nigeria international Victor Moses fired in the first after six minutes and Diafra Sakho stabbed in the second on the half-hour mark.

As the pause approached, City’s 55-million-euro record signing Kevin de Bruyne halved the advantage with his first goal for his new club.

Despite the second-half onslaught, West Ham held firm to deny their hosts. The east Londoners rise to second in the Premier League with 12 points while City remain top on 15 points.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini had been trying to calm talk of City strolling to the title after five wins in which they had scored 11 goals and conceded none.

"We never believed, because we won five games, we were champions of the Premier League," said the 62-year-old Chilean.

"We have to play 32 games more, 96 more points, so nobody can believe that."

City went into the match with West Ham without injured captain and defender Vincent Kompany as well as influential midfielder David Silva. The Spain international picked up a calf injury in the pre-game warm-up.

Pellegrini refused to use their absences as an excuse and, instead, criticised his team's collective lack of focus which he said had also been punished in the midweek Uefa Champions League defeat against Juventus.

"We have lost two games where we haven't played with the concentration and intensity we need in defending. So we conceded twice against Juventus. They had two shots and we conceded two goals. And against West Ham, it was exactly the same.

"There was one shot from the edge of the box, one corner. That was the whole offensive volume of West Ham during the whole game. So we must be concentrating more because two balls decided the result.”

He added: “I don't want to make excuses about David Silva. We didn't win and I don't think one player could change history."

Pellegrini’s West Ham counterpart Slaven Bilic was clearly delighted by yet another notable victory. West Ham have won on their travels to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.

"It is a surprise," insisted Bilic. "This game was different to the games at Emirates and Anfield because, with the greatest respect to Arsenal and Liverpool, this team is the best in the league.

"We knew we were going to have to score to get something from the game but we did it. We didn't nick it.

"This will do our confidence good but there is a tiny line between confidence and arrogance or between confidence and a little bit of laziness. That's the key. We know there are going to be ups and downs. We're not Real Madrid but it is looking very good now. I'm so proud of everyone and everything connected with this great club." 

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning