Manchester City’s stuttering start to the Premier League season continued today, Pep Guardiola’s side being forced to come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw against a spirited West Ham at the London Stadium.
The Hammers took the lead on 18 minutes, Michail Antonio using his strength to hold off City centre-back Ruben Dias and brilliantly overhead a Vladimir Coufal cross past Ederson.
Man City boss Guardiola clearly told his side to speed up their passing at half time and this renewed vigour was rewarded with an equaliser six minutes into the second period. The impressive Joao Cancelo bursting down the left and playing a low ball into the area, with substitute Phil Foden turning and finishing expertly.
The Citizens began to dominate after Foden’s strike and combined with West Ham losing their main attacking threat, Antonio, it felt inevitable that City would come out on top. However, David Moyes Hammers have shown plenty of resolve in recent weeks and they defended manfully to hang on for a point, although City skipper Raheem Sterling will be disappointed a poor first touch forced him to shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski when through one-on-one late on.
Speaking afterwards Guardiola did not seem overly concerned by the level of his side’s performance, but the Catalan coach admitted his side have ‘struggled’ since the start of the campaign.
“We started really well. We suffered in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the first half,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
”In the second half we were better and scored early. We had the chances we needed to win the game, but unfortunately, we couldn’t score.
“We created enough. Their defenders were defending so deep so it’s difficult to find spaces, but we had the chances.
“I’m not a guy who can predict the future. We’ve already dropped seven points, which is a lot. But we’ve struggled a lot for many reasons. We have to take things game by game and see what happens.”
Next up for City is a Champions League clash away to Marseille before they head to Brammall Lane to take on Sheffield United in the Premier League next weekend.