Manchester City rode on goals by Ilkay Gundogan and Luis Fernandinho to defeat West Ham United in a weather-marred match to take three points and climb back to the second spot they had lost for 24 hours to Liverpool.
Gundogan scored in the first half of the match and then Fernandinho struck in the last minute of the match to make it 2-0 and it turned out to be a good thing for Pep Guardiola’s side as West Ham United scored in the third minute of added time through Manuel Lanzini as City came off the pitch, thanking substitute Fernandhinho for scoring the goal that sealed three points for them.
City moved to 29 points from 13 matches, one ahead of Liverpool and one behind Chelsea (30).
In freezing temperatures, City created a number of chances but could capitalise only on two as they found the well-organized West Ham defence frustrating.
With the visitors resolute in defence and industrious in midfield, space was hard to come by and on a couple of occasions, West Ham looked dangerous when they attacked. But gradually, the defending champions began to find gaps and create opportunities. Mahrez had the ball in the net but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside. With snow falling continuously, visibility became difficult and it was affecting both teams with the pattern of play slow, and difficult in blizzard-like conditions.
City, however, were adapting and the chances began to tot up until finally, the breakthrough in the 34th minute.
Joao Cancelo played the ball out to Mahrez on the right and the Algerian progressed into the box before sending a short pass into the middle for Gundogan to sweep home. Mahrez went close again before the break, but the Hammers clung on without conceding again.
City were quickly on the front foot again and on 56 minutes, Gundogan fed Sterling on the left, and his low cross was met by Jesus who just connected ahead of Fabianski, but Aaron Creswell managed to clear before the ball rolled into the net, colliding with the post as he did so.
But finally, the second did come a minute from the end of normal time as Jesus worked his way into the box from the left before picking out Fernandinho who planted a low shot into the bottom left corner — he’d only been on the pitch a couple of minutes.
There was still time for Manuel Lanzini to pull one back – but the final whistle went straight after as the champions banked three deserved points.
In other matches, Brentford defeated Verton 1-0 while Leicester City defeated Watford 4-2.