Sergio Aguero was once again the difference maker for Manchester City as they were able to grind out a crucial 1-0 win over West Ham United on Wednesday night. The Argentine grabbed the only goal of the game as a tired looking City were far from their mesmerising best at the Etihad Stadium.
City began the game well and in truth and could of been 3-0 up after six or seven minutes with chances falling to David Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Aguero, but the champions couldn’t capitalise on their slick early play.
David Silva would came closest for City when he hit the post from six yards out but this one always had the feeling that it might be ‘one of those nights’ for the boys in sky blue,
While Kevin De Bruyne began to show flashes of his old self, it was clear the exertions of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final were beginning to take there toll on this injury laden City side. While the ball was being dominated as is normal with the home side, The Blues couldn’t sustain the pressure in order to eek out chances time and time again.
Former City manager, Manuel Pelligrini set his side out brilliantly from the start and with former Blue Samir Nasri in the line-up they would go into the half-time break all square and looking difficult to break down.
Riyad Mahrez had a game that could only be described as wasteful and a majorly shy on confidence and he would be the first to get the hook from Pep Guardiola. His opposite winger Leroy Sane was also having an ineffective game and he would be next. Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva would be introduced in their respective places.
It was the substitution of Bernardo that would eventually make the difference as his tricky run on 59 minutes led Felip Anderson to make a clumsy challenge inside of the box. While it looked soft on the replay it was enough for referee Stuart Atwell to point to the spot. Up stepped Aguero to bag his 18th Premier League goal of the season to take him top of the goalscoring charts and City one point behind leaders Liverpool in the table.
City looked happy enough with the one goal and it was visible just how tired they were after 120 minutes at Wembley on Sunday. Guardiola looked on as City managed to keep the ball and see out the remainder of the game for a crucial win that keeps them in grasp of retaining their Premier League title.
Next up for City is a trip to Bournemouth on Saturday to try and put more pressure on Liverpool ahead of their Merseyside Derby on Sunday against local rivals Everton at Goodison Park.