Manchester City continued to chase the record books with a dominant display at London Stadium to destroy West Ham, leaving the Hammers nervously looking over their shoulders at the relegation trap door.
The Hammers gave the champions a guard of honour before the match, and were behind after thirteen minutes. Leroy Sane’s shot deflected off former United defender Patrice Evra and past the wrong-footed Adrian in the Hammers goal.
Fourteen minutes later and it was 2-0, with the final touch coming from former blue Pablo Zabaleta, who scored his thirteenth goal for City, a year after leaving the club. The goal saw City hit one hundred for the season, and with three games remaining, the blues could well set a new record which will take some beating.
City didn’t always have it all their own way though, and Ederson was lucky when a poor first touch led to a challenge by Marko Arnautovic, but as the Hammers man tapped the ball into an empty net, the referee blew for a foul on the City keeper.
It was a short lived reprieve, as Aaron Cresswell gave the Hammers hope just before the break, curling home a free-kick inside Ederson’s near post. 2-1 up at half time, the blues were on course for another victory in London.
West Ham started the second half brightly, but it was City who scored the next goal. Gabriel Jesus met Raheem Sterling’s perfect cross, before controlling the ball and coolly slotting past Adrian. That was goal 101 for City and the record was now in sight.
The excellent Sterling was denied a penalty on 60 minutes when his legs were taken from under him by Cresswell. Referee Swarbrick decided it wasn’t a penalty, but oddly enough didn’t book Sterlign for diving. An interesting decision there from the ref.
It didn’t matter though as three minutes later, the blues wrapped up the points. Manuel Lanzini gave the ball away and Fernandinho played the ball out to Raheem sterling, who passed it back to Ferna to rifle home City’s fourth and give Sterling a hat-trick of assists and the man of the Match award.
Yaya Youre was given a run out later in the game, followed by a Premier League debut for Wythenshawe academy prospect Lukas Nmecha.
It was a champion display from the champions who, as well as breaking the goals and points record, can still record the highest number of wins of 30 set by Chelsea, and the biggest title winning points margin, which is currently at 18. The latter though depends on United messing up a game or two.
For the Hammers, it will be a nervy finish to the season, with three games to secure their status. We wish them luck in their relegation battle.