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Spirited Hammers beaten

West Ham United did everything they could to deny Manchester City on a snowy afternoon at the Etihad Stadium but were ultimately undone by the Premier League champions’ possession game in a 2-1 defeat.

The Premier League champions dominated possession throughout the first half and Ilkay Gundogan scored the first goal in the first half, with Fernandinho wrapping the win up late on for the Premier League champions. Manuel Lanzini did score late on but that was the very last kick of the game.

Amazingly, that means David Moyes has still never been beaten by more than one goal since his return to the Hammers.

Lukasz Fabianski made a number of excellent saves throughout the game, repeatedly rushing out to the feet of the City attackers.

Gundogan was on the end of an excellent City move for the first goal, as Joao Cancelo sprayed a brilliant pass to Riyad Mahrez, who drove it across the six-yard box for Gundogan to finish.

The snow slowed the pace down immensely, with the ball often actually struggling to roll.

One of the most impressive parts of the Hammers’ game in the first half was Ben Johnson’s goal-line clearance, as Gabriel Jesus was denied.

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Riyad Mahrez also hit the post before the interval, when City’s ground staff worked remarkably hard to clear the snow from the pitch.

City monopolised possession throughout the second half and that ultimately paid off late on, as they won the ball back high up the pitch and played it to the veteran Fernandinho just inside the box, and he slammed a finish into the bottom corner.

Worryingly, both Aaron Cresswell and Said Benrahma had to be substituted in the second half as they both picked up knocks, with the left-back actually sliding back-first into the post as he tried to make a clearance.

In the very last minute, Lanzini won the ball back on the edge of the box and curled a brilliant drive beyond Ederson but it was too little, too late.

Still, a spirited effort in the snow for the Hammers, who have come away from the toughest test of the season with some credit.

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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.