Starting brightly, attacking prowess and capitalising feature in our West Ham v Man City talking points...
1 Bright and early
Cool heads, inch-perfect passes and expert decision-making have helped the Blues to rekindle their scoring touch and gaining such a strong advantage early on in the game eased the pressure, building a proverbial mountain for the opposition to climb.
A third before the break served to put the clash well beyond West Ham’s reach and pleasingly, the visitors even added a fourth in the second half. It pays to be ruthless.
2 Penalty king
With a 100% record in his Premier League penalties, there was little doubt as to where Yaya Toure’s 11th league spot kick would end up.
He didn’t disappoint.
With five goals and a string of impressive performances since his return to the starting line-up in November, the Ivorian is showcasing his importance. Long may it continue.
3 Attack, attack, attack
There are one or two (or three or four!) names that are becoming regular inclusions in our post-match Talking Points features.
As you would expect from a 4-0 victory, City’s attacking stars shone with a sublime display of creative genius and clinical finishing.
Making just his third appearance in sky blue, Gabriel Jesus was voted the City Matchday App users’ star man with a goal and his second assist in two games.
Very few could refuse him that honour though to be fair, any of the Blues’ forward line could have earned that award – Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva… they all dazzled, as the visitors produced some delightful, direct, counter-attacking football to carve open the Hammers' defence.
There are some exciting partnerships developing as the young players increase their gametime. Ones for the future, yes… but they’re doing a pretty good job right now!
4 Access denied
Though the Blues’ attacking prowess will receive the (deserved) acclaim, it should be noted that defensively, City were rock solid.
Just as was the case in the FA Cup tie in January, the away side defended excellently to prevent their hosts any chance of clawing themselves back into the contest.
Though admittedly the Hammers threatened little, the visitors did well to keep them at bay during rare ventures into their final third, sniffing out any danger and remaining composed to calmly play the ball out from the back on several occasions.
5 Playing catch-up
The only side in the Premier League’s top nine to win in Matchweek 23, City gained some valuable ground on the teams around them.
Although Pep Guardiola’s men remain fifth in the table, they climbed level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool and within a point of Spurs and Arsenal (47).
It’s imperative the Blues capitalise on any opportunity to catch their rivals and to embark on a strong run now to force their way into the top four and keep any hopes of a title charge alive.
6 Next up...
City have little time to savour their triumph, with an equally crucial encounter on Sunday as Swansea visit the Etihad Stadium.
On the back of consecutive 3-0 and 4-0 victories, the Blues should be full of confidence with momentum building.
The Swans have also enjoyed an improved run though – including a 3-2 triumph at Liverpool – and scrapping for their lives, may well fancy their chances of returning to Wales with a positive result.