Man City 4 Hammers 1
By Hugh Southon
The scoreline says situation normal …the reality was somewhat different!
The Hammers – looking fitter and more up for it than in several seasons – enjoyed a thoroughly good work out, scored via a Nobes pen to take the lead, were denied another clear spot kick and were on the end of another dodgy decision for City’s penalty and what looked a clear offside for a Raheem Sterling goal.
Beyond that I lost a score having backed us to win at 9/2 against a City team which should – but weren’t jet lagged after their delayed Thomas Cook flight delays. So I hope I’m not talking through my pocket.
We were probably just the better team in the first half when we looked particularly dangerous down the right through Ryan Fredericks whilst young Ben Johnson was particularly mature on the other side.
But our goal scoring problems were obvious and we will all be mightily relieved of course at Seb Haller’s arrival was announced officially just before kick off.
However, despite that without question VAR would have made a big difference with the result probably running at at 2-2.
It was really pleasing to see the fitness levels during a game which was played at a Premier League pace and those who caught the eye included Fredericks, Johnson, Lanzini (at times), Diop and Anderson with Yarmolenko looking determined in the second half.
But we have to give another special mention to Jack Wilshere who pulled a lot of strings in the first half and should he remain fit is already looking something like the player we remember from his best days.
All in all most will be relatively happy as we head into the third place game against Newcastle on Saturday after the Geordies were beaten by Wolves in an earlier kick off.