Pep Guardiola and Manchester City extended their unbeaten run this season, as they claimed a 3-2 victory against West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City extended their unbeaten run this season, as they claimed a 3-2 victory against West Brom at the Hawthorns. The game was often comfortable for City, but made less so by defensive errors that led to a closer scoreline than it probably should've been.
City dominated the early proceedings of the game as West Brom looked to sit deep and stay in the game for as long as possible.
They survived up until the 10th minute as City took the lead. Fernandinho found Leroy Sane on the left hand side. The German than found half and yard of space past Allan Nyom, before rifling past a motionless Ben Foster.
There lead lasted a total of three minutes before West Brom found an equaliser in their first foray forward. Former City midfielder Garth Barry dinked a long pass forward, finding the run of Jay Rodriguez, who held off the challenge of John Stone before finishing past an advancing Ederson to find an unlikely route back in the game.
The parity that West Brom had found quickly evaporated as they found themselves behind two minutes later. Fernandinho was afforded too much space on the edge of the area after a Sane lay-off. The Brazilian let fly to beat Foster with the aid of a post and slight deflection off Ahmed Hegazy, giving Guardiola's side the lead once more.
The frantic start to the game didn't look like stopping, as City always looked a threat on the counter attack whilst looking to dominate possession throughout.
There lead could've been extended even further had David Silva not directed his header over from a delicious Kevin De Bruyne cross, as City looked dangerous every time they ventured forward.
Tony Pulis could be heard bellowing instructions from his technical area to try and stem the flow of City's attack and limit the damage heading into half-time.
Despite their dominance, City still appeared vulnerable at the back, as Rondon had a chance with a difficult near post effort that the Venezuelan could only head over.
Half-time fell as City were good value for their lead, as slender as it was, with West Brom delighted it was only 2-1 going into the break.
West Brom looked to take the game to City after the restart, as Nyom picked out Grzegorz Krychowiak who's header could only find Ederson, but West Brom looked to get more bodies forward in support of Rondon.
City, however, regained their dominance following the fast West Brom start and normal service resumed with Guardiola's side seeing plenty of possession in front of a sea of white and navy shirts.
It was in vein as City and substitute Raheem Sterling made it 3-1. City moved the ball well from left to right as Silva played in Kyle Walker. He delivered a low cross and Sterling could not miss as he slotted home from a couple of yards out to give Guardiola's side breathing space.
With Pulis' side looking to get back in the game, gaps began to appear for City to exploit with the pace of Sane and Sterling on the counter to put the game out of reach for the Baggies.
Foster was agile and alert to deny efforts from both Gabriel Jesus and David Silva from adding to the scoreline.
City were then given a scare in added time, as Matt Phillips got one goal back, nipping in to finish after Nicolas Otamendi attempted to chest a Barry cross back to Eduardo. There was no time for West Brom to find a shock equaliser as Mike Jones blew for full-time in a game that saw City remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League.