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Hard-working Irons beaten

West Ham gave everything against Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Manchester City on Saturday but were ultimately beaten 2-1.

The Irons toiled throughout and gave City some genuine scares throughout the encounter, but they were beaten by two headers from City’s central defensive pairing.

Ruben Dias and John Stones were both on the scoresheet either side of Mikey Antonio’s equaliser.

It was a really spirited performance from the Irons and they began the game at an electric pace, pressing high and almost dispossessing Fernandinho in his own box after just five minutes.

They had the first big chance of the game, too, as Tomas Soucek got on the end of Jesse Lingard’s deflected shot and headed it across to Antonio in the box. Ederson came out and put the striker off, though, and the chance fell away.

Dias scored the first goal of the game shortly after, as a genuinely wonderful cross from Kevin de Bruyne was met by the defender, who powered his header beyond Darren Randolph in goal.

Antonio then hit the post after a pull back from Jesse Lingard – though the midfielder was probably offside – but he found the target on the verge of half-time, as he got on the end of Lingard’s effort from Vlad Coufal’s cross to tap it into the net.

City then settled into a pattern of playing in front of the Hammers’ brilliant rearguard but it was actually a rare misstep that gave City a chance.

The Hammers failed to clear a corner and City opened them up, with Riyad Mahrez turning his way past Ben Johnson and pulling it back for Stones to slam home a finish.

That proved to be enough but Issa Diop could have rescued a point right at the end.

A brilliant ball in found him free as a bird in the penalty area but he agonisingly headed his effort wide.

After the full-time whistle went, Coufal slumped to the turf, staring at the ground and genuinely appearing on the verge of tears.

These Hammers gave everything and only one word stands out after that performance: Proud!

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.