Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United: Silva grabs winner as City pounce late once more

David Silva broke the tension with a late winner to keep Manchester City's lead at the Premier League summit at eight points.

Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United: Silva grabs winner as City pounce late once more
Silva wheels away in celebration after bagging the winner (photo: Getty Images / Clive Brunskill)
Manchester City
2 1
West Ham
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Danilo (Jesus 45'), Mangala, Otamendia; Delph, De Bruyne, Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Sane.
West Ham: Adrian; Zabaleta, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Fernandes, Kouyate, Obiang (Sakho 43'); Masuaku, Antonio, Lanzini (Arnautovic 69').
SCORE: 0-1, Ogbonna 44'. 1-1, Otamendi 57'. 2-1, Silva 83'.
REFEREE: Mike Dean (ENG): Booked; Rice, de Bruyne, Adrian.
INCIDENTS: Premier League fixture.

Manchester City overcame a resilient West Ham United side at the Etihad Stadium, David Silva's 83rd minute winner the difference as the Citizens won 2-1.

A much improved West Ham had looked capable of becoming the first side to beat City this season, with good defending combined with Angelo Ogbonna's opening goal giving them real help.

However, City's quality shone through once more as second half efforts from Nicolas Otamendi and Silva helped the home side to all three points.

Hammers show promise

It was no surprise to see City enjoy all the possession in the opening exchanges, but fans were left aghast as the Hammers had the better chances.

Michail Antonio was back in the side in a lone striking role and may have felt he should have forced home an opener at the back post, Cheikhou Kouyate's flick from a corner falling kindly for Antonio who prodded wide.

City were left frustrated by constant timewasting by West Ham 'keeper Adrian, who wasn't forced into proper action until the 26th minute, tipping David Silva's strike over after the Spaniard was set up just outside the area.

Strikes from outside the box were becoming a theme of the day for the hosts, manager Pep Guardiola visibly frustrated as all three of Kyle Walker, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling hammered shots over from distance.

West Ham continued to defend doggedly and attack sporadically, half the ground thinking they'd opened the scoring as Ederson pushed a powerful Manuel Lanzini strike into the side-netting.

The opener would come for the visitors though just short of the break, sending the shocked away support wild.

City thought they'd dealt with an initial corner as the ball was worked back out to Hammers full-back Aaron Cresswell, his cross finding Ogbonna in the area, the centre-back flexing his neck muscles to power a header across goal and into the bottom left corner.

Citizens do it the hard way

Guardiola wasn't a happy man and set about to change things, introducing Gabriel Jesus for Danilo at the break and leaving Silva with Kevin de Bruyne in a midfield two.

It worked almost instantly, City level 10 minutes after the restart, Jesus driving into the box and pulling a ball across for Otamendi fumble in moments after Adrian had smartly stopped a de Bruyne free-kick.

Adrian was back in the thick of it after the equaliser, Sane testing him with shots off each foot before the finest save of the game came from a curling Jesus effort, Adrian flying through the air to keep it out as Sterling failed to sort his feet out for a rebound.

City were throwing men forward without a second thought, West Ham able to relieve pressure for just a few seconds at a time, their brightest moment of the second 45 coming as Antonio broke away and forced Ederson into a routine stop. 

The pressure told for the Hammers eventually, despite all their efforts. City's quality shining through once more, de Bruyne with the assist - a curling ball in from midway into the West Ham half latched onto by David Silva, the faintest of touches enough to push the ball past Adrian and into the net.

Silva's goal was enough to secure the points, City fans left nervy in the final minutes as Marko Arnautovic pulled away down the right, checking the ball back for Antonio who fired narrowly wide with Ederson stranded.

First City stumbling block? No!

It looked like Southampton would become just the second side to take league points off the Citizens in midweek, before another late Sterling intervention.

Then it looked as if the Hammers would achieve the unlikely, if not impossible..

But, the Manchester City train just keeps rolling.

With 14 wins from 15 games, and one draw, they've made the best start of any side in the Premier League era.

With an eight point gap at the top of the table and a chance to make it eleven in the Manchester derby next week, can anyone stop them?

Moyes has reason to be positive

After declaring the first half performance of his players against Everton on Wednesday as one he wouldn't want to put his name to, Hammers boss David Moyes saw much more fight and resilience from his squad at the Etihad.

Putting their bodies on the line, literally in some cases with superb blocks, the London based side never wavered in their determination to cause an upset.

Their organisation was succinct, something Moyes deserves enormous credit for given some of the demons that followed him into the job a few weeks ago.

West Ham were fully switched on from the first to final minute, and despite late disappointment, fans have much more reason to believe they can get out of the relegation trouble they find themselves in.