The game against Manchester City was a expected result. We came up against the best team in the league and possibly the world right now, losing 4-0 to Man City is no shame. “Would rather give it a go and lose 5-0 than not give it a go and lose by 5 or 6.” I tweeted out.
The main thing to take away from this game is, we gave it a real go, which was recognised by Pep Guardiola. Usually teams sit back and its all about damage limitation, and you could argue we should have done the same. Camp out in our own half and show no intention to attack or play football. But we did the opposite, we had our fair share of chances which were subsequently not taken.
City found themselves 2-0 up within 20 minutes through David Silva and Raheem Sterling. And the common theme of both goals were the left hand side of the defence were at fault, particularly Masuaku. Masuaku is a controversial player an isn’t far from criticism and rightly so, defensively he is poor and offers way more going forward. Maybe Cresswell should have been given a start rather than Masuaku as he offers more in terms of defensive capability. Personally Masuaku should be used a winger, maybe push Anderson over to the right and put Masuaku on the left, and drop Grady Diangana. Grady has been brilliant in filling in the role on the right hand side after the injury to Yarmolenko, but pushing Masuaku up to the wing may be an experiment worth trying over the Christmas period where we are up against opposition who are on a similar playing field to us.
Going into half time we found ourselves 3-0 down, as Leroy Sané added to City’s lead. A good finish completely sitting Balbuena down and rolling it past Fabianski. Again poor defending which seems to be far to present at West Ham across this season and previous ones too.
The second half started and we didn’t seem too discouraged, Fabianski made some top saves keeping the scoreline down. But we too had chances of our own, Michail Antonio and Marko Arnautovic were amongst that with Antonio sending a shot crashing off of the post and Arnautovic heading over the bar. We managed to holt City from scoring for a whole 45 minutes, which to me is rather impressive, but in the end they found another way through, as Sané added to his goals tally controlling and firing past Fabianski and Cresswell who was on the line.
Overall we shouldn’t get too disheartened over that result as it was widely expected, and we should take the positives in the fact that we actually caused Manchester City a serious headache throughout. Man City were and are simply too good, obviously people have different opinions on the game and some will most likely disagree with me. You have the best manager in the world saying their result was in some part lucky, and for me I take those comments, I look at the performance offensively and I hope, we can only hope it carries on into the Christmas period where hopefully we see some goals and defensive mistakes and poor defensive displays are cut out.
Special mention to Michail Antonio who for me and others which I’ve seen across social media, was our best player on Saturday, he ran and ran, he had missed his chances but overall he was an absolute pain in the arse for City, and hopefully he continues to put in a shift and get back to the Antonio of old.