WEST HAM 1-1 MAN CITY
- Goals: Michail Antonio (£6.3m)| Phil Foden (£6.6m)
- Assists: Vladimir Coufal (£4.5m) | Joao Cancelo (£5.4m)
- Bonus: Coufal x3, Antonio x3, Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) x3
Kevin de Bruyne (£11.5m) made his injury return from the bench in Gameweek 6, playing 25 minutes as Manchester City failed to fully break down a deep West Ham defence in a 1-1 draw.
With much of the pre-match attention on Pep Guardiola’s men, surprisingly, it was the Hammers’ assets who came out of this one with more promise for future Gameweeks.
The moment of the first half came from Michail Antonio (£6.3m), who held off Ruben Dias (£5.5m) in the Manchester City box to fire a bicycle kick past a frozen Ederson (£6.0m).
That was Antonio’s third goal in the last five matches, particularly impressive considering the tough run of games West Ham have faced. With their fixtures turning for the better in Gameweek 8, the £6.3m forward has only cemented his place on transfer watchlists around the world.
Joining him there is surely Vladimir Coufal (£4.5m), whose cross Antonio converted after good work from Tomas Soucek (£4.9m). The right-back has now assisted in each of his last two games and, given the way West Ham held Manchester City at bay, could be the sort of option to offer double-digit potential when the fixtures turn.
However, Fantasy managers will have to pay close attention to upcoming press conferences for West Ham, as well as Manchester City’s next media commitment.
At the London Stadium, Antonio was forced off after 52 minutes, while Manchester City front-man Sergio Aguero (£10.4m) only lasted until half time.
On the Argentine, who was starting his third game in eight days following a lengthy injury lay-off, Guardiola said:
“He’s injured. A hamstring I think.” – Pep Guardiola
On the injury that forced goalscorer Antonio off early in second half, David Moyes was coy:
“We don’t know, we will have a check. He came off against Spurs with something similar. He didn’t miss training so we hope it’s not much. He is so important to us. He couldn’t decide if he was cramping up or not. We will get him scanned and see how he is.” – David Moyes
On the striker’s goal, the Irons boss added:
“It’s the sort of thing as a kid you always wanted to do, to score an overhead kick. It was a terrific goal. He has been great for us, he can run, we can play into him – all good teams need a good centre-forward and we have a good centre forward at the moment.”
Phil your boots
The introduction of Phil Foden (£6.6m) at half-time changed the game for Man City, providing a much sterner test of West Ham’s low-block defence.
Guardiola was all too aware of how the Hammers would set up, though it took Aguero’s injury to make a game-changing substitution.
“We started really well. We suffered in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the first half. In the second half we were better and scored early. We had the chances we needed to win the game, but unfortunately we couldn’t score. We created enough. Their defenders were defending so deep so it’s difficult to find spaces but we had the chances. I’m not a guy who can predict the future. We’ve already dropped seven points, which is a lot. But we’ve struggled a lot for many reasons. We have to take things game by game and see what happens.” – Pep Guardiola
Foden netted after just six minutes on the pitch, firing past Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m) from a low Joao Cancelo (£5.4m) cross.
While it was frustrating for his 7.9% ownership to see the midfielder on the bench initially, especially as he was City’s top-performing asset for shots in the box and big chances pre-Gameweek 6, they can certainly take solace in his chances of a start moving forward.
Foden has now been rested from the beginning in each of Manchester City’s last two matches in all competitions and, following Gameweek 6, Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) is the only midfield or attacker with more FPL points than him (two goals one assist).
On the England midfielder, Guardiola added:
“As always he gave us something extra.”
Despite controlling possession, City once again lacked a cutting edge in Gameweek 6, clearly suffering without having De Bruyne available for the full 90 minutes.
Guardiola may claim to have been happy with his team’s overall showing but it took until the 89th minute for the Manchester outfit to create a meaningful opportunity, with the exception of Foden’s strike.
Having eventually found an opening to counter-attack West Ham, De Bruyne’s through ball set Sterling through on goal.
However, a heavy touch allowed Fabianski to position himself well to block the midfielder’s effort.
The West Ham goalkeeper explained:
“I think he took a bit of a heavy touch, so I tried to make myself big. I don’t think he had a chance to go around me. I managed to keep it out. In those situations you always have to make smart decisions. I think that’s what I’ve done today. We are pleased with the point and with the performance, especially defensively. We played very strongly against a very good side. We knew what to expect from City and knew what we had to do defensively.” – Lukasz Fabianski
A ludicrous backpass attempt by substitute Andriy Yarmolenko (£5.7m) allowed Sterling in behind again on 92 minutes but a combination of too many touches and too many West Ham defenders snuffed out the England forward.
On the substitution of Kyle Walker (£6.0m), Guardiola revealed:
“He was exhausted.”
Moyes, meanwhile, also had praise for his central midfield duo.
“We’re trying to build a young, energetic team. Tomas [Soucek] and Declan [Rice] have been excellent. We have been really pleased with them. I hope it continues but I’m not getting carried away. There have been good signs.” – David Moyes
West Ham United XI (5-4-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Balbuena; Masuaku, Rice, Soucek, Coufal; Fornals, Antonio (Yarmolenko 51′), Bowen (Haller 68′).
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Garcia, Dias, Walker (Zinchenko 77′); Gundogan, Rodri, Bernardo (De Bruyne 67′); Sterling, Aguero (Foden 46′), Mahrez.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 6
- Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds United
- West Ham United 1-1 Manchester City
- Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace
- Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea
- Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United
- Southampton 2-0 Everton
- Wolves 1-1 Newcastle United
- Arsenal 0-1 Leicester City
- Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
- Burnley 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
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