West Ham could win the league…
If all their games were played away from home. Their away form is astonishing. They are the first team in 10 years to beat Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City away from home in the same season, and that will give them incredible confidence on their travels. They defended incredibly well but remained a threat, and had a couple of opportunities of their own in the final 15 minutes.
If they can add solid home form into the mix then the Irons will have to be considered genuine challengers for a top-eight spot. There’s a long way to go but their rock star boss could be the only man on the planet who actually knows what the West Ham way is.
De Bruyne is worth the hype
By now you should know that Kevin De Bruyne was involved in 7 million goals last season with 5.5 million assists and he will be expected to do just the same for Man City. He whipped in a great corner early on that Fernandinho should have converted and that set the tone for his game.
He got a goal on his home debut after linking up with Sergio Aguero, a partnership that showed promising signs, and was constantly busy in between the lines and looked a threat every time he was on the ball.
The Belgian was allowed to play in behind Aguero, after David Silva was injured in the warm-up, and it was encouraging to see that the Citizens now have a genuine replacement when the Spanish pass master is absent.
Moses is a miracle worker
The Chelsea loanee did both his managers a massive favour as he put the Hammers ahead with a great strike at the Etihad. That was the first goal that City had conceded all season and showed everyone that Joe Hart is indeed beatable.
Moses was superb against Newcastle last time out and he looks as if he could be an excellent bit of business by Slaven Bilic. The Croatian is a man who likes direct, pacey wingers and clearly the Nigerian is thriving under his tutelage. The former Crystal Palace player has never consistently shown what we all know he is capable of, perhaps this could be the year he finally fulfils his massive potential. No doubt Chelsea we get an astronomical fee for him in the summer.
Money can’t buy you… organisation
It’s been a bit of an issue for Manchester City for a while but when Vincent Kompany does not play they look lost defensively. It might just be the presence of the giant Belgian skipper that makes the difference but without him they look vulnerable.
They started with £64m of central defensive talent here. Mangala and Otamendi know each other well from their time at Porto but the second goal saw Winston Reid left unmarked and then a melee ensued in the box before Sakho scuffed home. The marking was dire and City players were slow to react to the second and third ball. Defences win titles, if they perform like this much more, then one without Kompany may throw it away.
Payet paying for himself
This is something you could write every time he takes to the field at the moment. The Frenchman has been the best value acquisition of the summer so far and he laid on yet another goal here, setting up Victor Moses’ opener.
It seems baffling that no one else has taken the 28-year-old before now, especially Newcastle, who pride themselves on their knowledge of the French market, ironically he’s exactly what the Toon need. His age might just mean that Bilic can keep him for a good few years, and that can only be good for West Ham.