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West Ham 2-2 Manchester City: Tactical Thoughts

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Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Manchester City somehow salvaged a 2-2 draw with West Ham United in the Blues final trip to the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers were on the front foot much of the match but a few shrewd tactical changes might have rescued a point for the Blues.

Bringing on Kelechi Iheanacho

I know this seems like an obvious point but given Manager Manuel Pellegrini's aversion to playing youngsters it may not have happened in a different circumstance. Iheanacho again demonstrated a game-changing ability this time operating almost as a linkup player between Sergio Aguero and the midfield. In this role, David Silva who gave another laboured performance was not needed on the pitch and was subbed off.

Fernando coming on for Silva

Even after the equalizer it seemed the Blues were just a bad bounce away from giving up a winner. Fernando helped shut down the lanes in open play. Prior to his insertion, Alex Song had been bossing the game since he was not being tracked by Yaya Toure and was helping to win possession back for the Hammers before City really threatened. However, Fernando could not stop the inept defending on set pieces and West Ham twice had great chance to grab all three points late on from dead ball situations.

Iheanacho's performance again begs the question if his minutes are being too managed by Pellegrini and given the continued underwhelming performances away from home, should be starting in some of these difficult trips in order to help link-up play and stimulate counter-attacking moves?