Manuel Pellegrini knows all too well if you don’t take your chances in the Premier League you are already on the back foot.
But equally West Ham's defending has a big question mark against its ability to switch on when it matters. When interviewed after the match the Chilean showed a frustrated figure by pointing out, saying,
“It’s difficult, when you lose a game 4-0, that you have positive things, but the three goals we conceded in the first half were not acceptable defending, as they were very easy crosses inside the box without marking,”
Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Leroy Sane, put the visitors up 3-0 inside 33 minutes and were far above in class and quicker to react, Pellegrini continued,
“Normally, Manchester City create a lot of options, but they scored three goals and they hadn’t created a lot of options. I think the most clear chance they had in the second half, Fabianski made a save, but the others we conceded too easy crosses for those goals.
Creating chances in the game
The East London side created about the same amount of opportunities as Pep Guardiola's side did, but taking your clear-cut chances and scoring is the problem for the ex-Manchester City coach, saying,
“We created as much as Manchester City created and had clear chances to score, but we didn’t score.
“We continued playing the same way and had a couple of clear chances to score – one with Antonio alone with the goalkeeper and he hit the post.
Good attacking intent
Pellegrini set out his side to even win at home against a quality side in City. The Chilean deployed a 4-4-2 system with Michail Antonio up front with Marko Arnautovic, they both had clear chances to score, Pellegrini notes,
“I was absolutely sure before, with the power and pace of Michail Antonio and Marko Arnautovic, that we could create five or six clear chances to score, but you must take those chances.
“More than that, I repeat, it is difficult to have positive things when you lose 4-0, but I think that I was happy in the way we played.
“These games, playing in this way, will help us to improve more than playing as a small team just trying not to concede goals, but when you play against big teams without important players, you cannot make mistakes.”
Sloppy defending let the side down
The Chilean and his players are taking positives from the game but they have a lot of work to do before they face Newcastle away at St James Park.
The Hammers did come out with good mentality, to try and take the game to the blues, as Pellegrini states,
“I don’t think we gave them too much respect,” Pellegrini insisted. “If you saw the game from the first minute, we tried to dominate the game and we played the first ten minutes more in their side than in our own side.
“In the same way, if they scored a goal because we had too many players attacking, I would be upset, but we had all our defence in our own area, so I repeat, it was just a bad day of defending.
“If you don’t make inside your box, they will score the goals. They didn’t have six chances and score three, but they had three crosses and scored all three.”