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West Ham must rediscover cutting edge as David Moyes rues lack of ‘real quality’ in Man City defeat

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Manchester City offered West Ham a reminder of how the finest of margins can make the difference at the top.

The Hammers are in the battle for the top four this season and David Moyes wants to challenge for a Champions League place right to the very end.

For that to happen, West Ham must once again find a cutting edge when it matters.

They were in the game at the Etihad until added time when Fernandinho scored a second for City. The visitors defended well throughout but were pulled apart by two moments of class and clarity by the home side, something that was lacking when West Ham went forward themselves.

It took a superb diagonal ball from Joao Cancelo and a deflected cross to break West Ham’s resolve when Ilkay Gundogan struck to open the scoring in the first half.

When Fernandinho killed the game in second-half injury time the goal came via a stunning passing move down the left which cut through a tired West Ham side, who then scored a late consolation through Manuel Lanzini’s wonderful volley.

“The real quality in the end is the difference quite often and Man City are full of quality and good players,” said Moyes.

“We did a lot of good things today but when we got the chances to create a good opening or finish a good chance we didn’t take it. You don’t come to Man City and get loads of them but we did our best to get some.”

After beating Liverpool before the international break, West Ham’s domestic form has dipped and they have now suffered back-to-back defeats.

They have lacked a spark in attack in recent weeks and that did not change here.

Lanzini showed a touch of class with his late volley, controlling and sending it looping into the far corner, but there was not a consistent threat in the City box.

Creating chances here is a hard thing to do, but the frustration for West Ham will be that they got into areas to do just that and let themselves down almost every time.

Michail Antonio has just one goal in his last nine club appearances but tested Aymeric Laporte with threatening runs in behind. While Antonio’s pace was a threat, his decision making was found lacking when it mattered most.

Antonio was not alone, however, with Pablo Fornals guilty himself in the second half.

It is a credit to West Ham that back-to-back defeats have not seen them fall out of the top four.

With Brighton and Chelsea to come in the coming week, Moyes will be desperate for a return to the free-scoring side of the early weeks of the season.

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