West Ham 1-4 Manchester City: Champions smash through 100-goal mark
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 30/04/18 12:09am
Manchester City's title-winning campaign reached new heights as a 4-1 victory at West Ham saw them smash through the 100-goal mark en route to a record-equalling 30th win.
Leroy Sane opened the scoring for the visitors at the London Stadium with a deflected 13th-minute strike before a calamitous Pablo Zabaleta own goal in the 27th minute saw City become the first club in Premier League history to hit a century of goals in two seasons.
Aaron Cresswell halved the deficit on 42 minutes with a sumptuous free-kick, but goals from Gabriel Jesus (53) and Fernandinho (64) saw City re-establish control and equal their highest goals tally in a Premier League campaign.
City need just one win and two more goals from their remaining three games to set the record for the most wins in a Premier League season and to surpass Chelsea's record goals tally of 103.
West Ham remain 15th in the table, three points clear of the relegation zone, after a defeat which leaves boss David Moyes with three games to secure their top-flight status.
West Ham: Adrian (5), Zabaleta (5), Ogbonna (5), Rice (5), Cresswell (5), Evra (5), Noble (5), Kouyate (5), Fernandes (5), Lanzini (6), Arnautovic (6).
Subs: Mario (5), Masuaku (5), Chicharito (5).
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Laporte (7), Otamendi (7), Delph (7), Fernandinho (8), Gundogan (8), De Bruyne (8), Sane (8), Sterling (9), Jesus (8).
Subs: Danilo (5), Toure (5), Nmecha (5).
Man of the Match: Raheem Sterling
With survival yet to be secured, the Hammers were cautious in the opening exchanges but their reluctance to go after the champions proved costly as Sane's curling effort took a wicked deflection off Patrice Evra on its way past a stricken Adrian in the home goal.
That kicked West Ham into gear as Manuel Lanzini drew a save from Ederson, but City were soon two to the good as a Declan Rice error, for the second week running, saw him turn the ball into the back of the net off former City defender Zabaleta.
The linesman came to Ederson's rescue on 39 minutes when Marko Arnautovic's effort was ruled out for a foul on the City 'keeper as he dithered in possession in his area, but West Ham soon found the net.
After Ilkay Gundogan's foul on Edimilson Fernandes was incorrectly adjudged to have been outside the area, Cresswell whipped the resulting free-kick over the City wall to give West Ham hope before half-time.
Adrian, Manuel Lanzini and Patrice Evra were recalled by David Moyes as he made three changes to the West Ham side that lost at Arsenal. Joe Hart was ineligible to face his parent club. Kyle Walker, Nicholas Otamendi, Fernandinho and Leroy Sane returned to the starting line-up for the champions.
That hope was extinguished within eight minutes of the restart, though, as Jesus released Raheem Sterling in behind before gathering the England forward's cross, skipping inside Zabaleta and firing past Adrian from close range.
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An apparent blatant foul by Cresswell on Sterling in the area went unpunished on 58 minutes, but City wrapped up their victory when Fernandinho converted their fourth on 64 minutes from Sterling's precise cross.
- Manchester City have now scored 102 goals in 35 games this season, the quickest an English top-flight side has reached this milestone in a single campaign since Everton in 1931-32 (32 games).
- This is the fourth occasion that a team has scored 100+ goals in a single Premier League season and City are the first to do so twice.
- Manchester City have won 30 Premier League games in 2017-18, equalling the English top-flight record for most league wins in a 38-game season (Chelsea 2016-17).
- Manchester City are the first team since Arsenal in 2012-13 to have four different players score 10+ Premier League goals in a single season. Indeed, the other teams to achieve this feat were Chelsea in 2009-10, Chelsea in 2010-11, and Manchester United in 1995-96.
- Pablo Zabaleta is the first player to score a Premier League own goal against a side he's previously played for in the competition since Jonjo Shelvey vs Liverpool in December 2014.
- Gabriel Jesus has been directly involved in 24 goals in 25 Premier League starts for Man City (18 goals, 6 assists), with the Brazilian netting in each of his last four starts.
Joe Hart was ineligible to play against his parent club but, with City scoring four goals, his World Cup hopes were arguably strengthened by being absent. Kyle Walker returned to the City side for a 61-minute cameo while Fabian Delph’s claim for a surprise inclusion gathered pace as he put in another solid performance. Raheem Sterling’s stock continued to rise as he tormented Aaron Cresswell and set up two goals in an inspired second-half display at the London Stadium.
Man of the Match - Raheem Sterling
Sterling enjoyed the freedom of the London Stadium down the right flank behind Cresswell. The England forward teed up Jesus for City's third and Fernandinho for a classy fourth to seal an emphatic victory for the champions.
Had he had his shooting boots on, the records that City will pursue before the end of the season would have been broken with games to spare, but Sterling's performance was still exemplary.
West Ham travel to Leicester on Saturday before hosting Manchester United in their penultimate game of the season on April 10, live on Sky Sports. Manchester City, meanwhile, will lift the Premier League trophy after their Nissan Super Sunday clash with Huddersfield.