Manchester City 1 West Ham 2 reaction: Five things we learnt from the Etihad

Moses and De Bruyne good business; Bilic leaves the handbrake off

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The Independent Football

Victor Moses is a fine piece of business by West Ham

It was easy to miss. When West Ham United signed Victor Moses on loan from Chelsea on deadline day, there was a familiar sense of déjà vu.

The 24-year-old was enjoyed (or endured, depending on your viewpoint) similar spells with Liverpool and Stoke City which failed to result in a permanent switch.

Moses’ performance against Newcastle on Monday night, however, suggested this might be different. Slavan Bilic clearly has faith in the former Wigan Athletic winger and it is showing in his performances.

Losing Aleksander Kolarov on the outskirts of the Manchester City penalty area before unleashing a fierce drive which beat Joe Hart, after just 6 minutes, Moses means business this season.


Kevin De Bruyne is £54m well spent for Man City

Speaking to the media ahead of this match, new Manchester City signing and former Chelsea winger Kevin De Bruyne revealed that he only spoke to Jose Mourinho twice during two years at Stamford Bridge.

He said: “One was before a game against Basel, where he said I was doing better in his opinion and that I would get my chance.

“I think that was maybe November. Then one week before January, that's when I said I wanted to go because even if I was training better, I was not getting any minutes.”

That speaks volumes about the 24-year-old more than it does about the Blues boss. De Bruyne is an old fashioned player who, in his own words, just tries to ‘do this thing’.

City look a far more threatening side with the Belgian on the pitch and, as a direct result, seem more likely to snatch the Premier League off Chelsea because of it.

Slavan Bilic parked the bus again, but left the handbrake off

The man who crushed England’s hopes of reaching EURO 2008 at Wembley as Croatia manager, Slavan Bilic, is earning a reputation as one of the finest party poopers in football.

Scripts were torn to shreds at both the Emirates and Anfield and so it proved to be the case again tonight.

Following that stunning 3-0 victory over Liverpool, the Croat said: “Their movement, concentration and possession was top level. We parked the bus but we didn't put the handbrake on. It was simply great defending when we didn't have the ball.”

It was a case of ‘same again’ for the Hammers today but City are miles ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ Reds. It is hard to see West Ham struggling on this evidence, but they may challenge the established order nonetheless.

Adrian will win West Ham points this season

Whether he was throwing himself across his goalline or sliding in to challenges in the West Ham penalty area, it’s clear that the East London outfit have a quality goalkeeper at their disposal in Adrian.

The 28-year-old joined the club from Real Betis in 2013 and became a folk hero when he saved and scored a penalty to knock Everton out of the FA Cup last season.

But Adrian is fast becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League under Slavan Bilic at Upton Park.

As West Ham look more and more assured of a comfortable season, despite pre-season anxiety about moving into the Olympic Stadium as a second tier club, they can grow with Adrian in between the sticks. His late save from a powerful Nicolas Otamendi header proved that.

The Etihad crowd such be a source of strength, not anxiety

It’s very easy to mock Manchester City supporters. They’re glory fans, some will say, who don’t understand what it’s like to go through the tough times.

But the vast majority of them remember the days of their spell in the third tier. That makes the mood around the place at the Etihad all the more confusing.

Amid the occasional rendition of Blue Moon, the tone was one of anxiety for much of the match. Crystal Palace and Leicester City supporters will be able to tell you how much a noisy and raucous home support can help their side.

If City can tap into their ethos, and they have the personnel at their disposal, the Etihad can become a daunting place to visit yet again.