Manchester City had to settle for a 1-1 draw against West Ham after coming from behind thanks to an inspired substitution from Pep Guardiola.
While City went into the game as favourites, it was West Ham who took the lead – and in quite spectacular fashion.
Vladimir Coufal played a cross in from the right-hand side, which Michail Antonio reacted brilliantly to. The striker sent an overhead kick goalwards, beating Ederson to make it 1-0 after 18 minutes.
A thing of beauty! 🚲😍pic.twitter.com/gW5FdM04Fg
— West Ham United (@WestHam) October 24, 2020
There were hints of a handball in the buildup, but after a VAR check, the goal still stood.
City were struggling to impose their authority, although they had a decent chance when Joao Cancelo fired a cross in from the left. However, Riyad Mahrez could not provide the finish from a tight angle.
West Ham continued to threaten, and City ended the first half under siege. Ruben Dias blocked a shot from Tomas Soucek as the pressure mounted.
Guardiola makes inspired sub
Aware something needed to change, Pep Guardiola made a substitution at half-time. But despite being behind, he took star striker Sergio Aguero off.
Phil Foden came on to replace him – and quickly made an impact.
Barely five minutes after coming on, Foden controlled a ball in from Cancelo before turning and getting a left-footed shot away. The ball crept in at Lukasz Fabianski’s near-post to draw City level.
Instant impact! ⚡️
A wonderful turn from Phil Foden to get Man City right back in it! pic.twitter.com/zZz4DREIaF
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 24, 2020
West Ham were forced into a change of their own, with Andriy Yarmolenko replacing goalscorer Antonio shortly after City’s leveller.
Yarmolenko had an opportunity to restore West Ham’s lead midway through the second half. However, his effort from distance was off-target.
As if things weren’t already hard enough for West Ham, City were able to bring on Kevin De Bruyne for his first appearance in three weeks.
However, the introduction of the Belgian midfielder did not lead to any more goals for City. He did set up a good chance for Raheem Sterling – who started the game as captain – but a heavy touch from the forward meant Fabianski could thwart him.
Fabianski then got a strong hand in to deny Mahrez, and the corner resulted in nothing.
Hence, City had to settle for a draw. They have only scored one goal in each of their three Premier League games in October – and it’s the first time a side managed by Guardiola has failed to reach 10 points after their first five league games of a season.