Man City's January transfer priority made clear for Pep Guardiola despite West Ham win

MANCHESTER CITY moved up to second in the Premier League by beating West Ham.


Posted Monday, November 29, 2021 by Express.co.uk

Manchester City secured a 2-1 win over West Ham at a snowy Etihad Stadium, but Pep Guardiola’s priority in the January transfer window was made ever clearer despite the result. It was ultimately a comfortable win for Guardiola’s men who have now moved up to second in the Premier League table.

Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho scored the only goals of the game for the hosts, but the scoreline should have been far more comfortable.

The Hammers offered little going forward, with City happy to dominate the possession over David Moyes’ men.

It was a typical display from the hosts, who enjoyed 70 per cent of the ball in the first-half as they battled with the wintry conditions.

But it was also a win that made it even more obvious to Guardiola that he must target an out and out goalscorer in the January window.

Guardiola opted to start with a front three of Riyad Mahrez, Gabril Jesus and Raheem Sterling for the visit of the Hammers.

Man City's January transfer priority made clear for Pep Guardiola despite West Ham win
Man City's January transfer priority made clear for Pep Guardiola despite West Ham win

With that trio leading the line, City created a ton of chances, having 18 shots in total, though only five of those were on target.

City’s attackers performed badly compared to their Expected Goals ratio though, which was 2.48, with Gundogan’s tap-in and Fernandiho's strike the only reward for their dominance.

The hosts created 14 chances in all, enough to make the scoreline far more comfortable than they did.

Jesus started through the middle of the front three, but would have only one shot on target in the first period.

Guardiola will be happy the missed chances and failure to create clear-cut opportunities did not come back to bite his side at the Etihad.

But it will serve as a warning for when they face teams whose attacking players are able to make City pay for their struggles to score.

Ensuring they win games that they dominate will be key for City if they are to beat Chelsea to the Premier League title this season.

A huge part of putting games to bed lies in converting chances into goals, which City found hard to do against West Ham.

That makes the need for a new striker all the more important, with Jesus clearly not able to deliver the goals required.

There will be plenty of options for Guardiola to consider, be that a return for Harry Kane or a move for Erling Haaland.

Whoever the Spaniard and City decide to target, signing a goalscorer will ensure that they maintain their title challenge.

And while they defeated West Ham, the narrow scoreline despite dominating play made that all the more obvious to Guardiola.



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