City returned to Premier League action with a thumping triumph over West Ham, picking up from where we left off after the international break.

THE ‘S’ FACTOR
While there were several solid performances throughout, it was City’s ‘Triple S’ threat which deservedly hit the headlines, with David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane on the scoresheet.

With two goals and an assist in a lightning display, it was Super Sane who scooped the Man of the Match award with Sterling a close second, having provided two assists to accompany his strike.

With four goals in his last four games for club and country, the speedy Sane is rekindling his best form and both of his strikes showcased real quality, composure and expert finishing – the first a cool conversion, after he had floored Lukasz Fabianski and Fabian Balbuena with a beautiful turn inside the six-yard box and the second a drilled half-volley in injury time to add the icing to the proverbial cake.

A note also for his defensive work, as he tirelessly tracked back to regain possession on several occasions.

The German spoke of his delight after the game, expressing his ‘excitement’ to play alongside Sterling – and the camaraderie and understanding between the two was there for all to see at the London Stadium, as they each put the ball on a plate for the other to hand City a commanding half-time lead.

terling already boasted an excellent record at the London Stadium and has now been involved in more Premier League goals at the home of the Hammers than any other visiting player with one goal and five assists.
Silva’s run against West Ham is equally impressive. The Spaniard has been involved in more goals against the Hammers in all competitions than he has against any other opponent for City, recording six goals and four assists).

Netting the opener, he bagged his fourth goal in as many games and his eighth for the league season. Hailed as the Club’s greatest player of all time, finishing had been cited as the Spaniard’s only weakness throughout his career – not anymore, it seems!

CAPITAL CITY
Another trip to London, another triumph!

The capital has become a very happy hunting ground for the Blues, who now stand as only the second team from outside London in English top-flight history to have won six consecutive games there, after Portsmouth achieved the success in the 1950/51 campaign!

Visits to the London Stadium alone have produced four victories with a remarkable aggregate score of 17-1 in the Blues’ favour. I’d say that warrants the title of an ‘ecstatic’ hunting ground!


BURSTING BUBBLES
With an astonishing eight shut-outs, City top the ‘clean sheet’ charts, having conceded just five goals in the Premier League this season, alongside Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola was dissatisfied with the number of opportunities West Ham were able to fashion: nine – the same number we created against them – but a combination of solid defending and a little bit of luck preserved our impressive record.

Former City boss Manuel Pellegrini (facing the Blues for the first time) had vowed to attack the Champions – and he kept that promise, but only one of the Hammers’ efforts was on target, in contrast to the visitors’ six.

The Blues are now only the second team to have scored four or more goals in three consecutive Premier League away games against the same opponent, after Chelsea’s hat-trick against Bolton between 2009 and 2011.
Guardiola’s assertion that the Blues can still improve on a 4-0 triumph away from home is nothing short of frightening (for everyone else!)

DEEP BLUE
With three key men sidelined through injury – Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy – Guardiola was forced to ring the changes, but any fears of struggle in our teriffic trio’s absences were eliminated inside the first 34 minutes.

Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan and Sane stepped into the breach, while the Blues boss also rested Riyad Mahrez and John Stones, who was replaced by Nicolas Otamendi.

The Argentine made his first start since returning from injury with a trademark performance. City have now conceded just one goal in the seven games the defender has started in.

Guardiola hailed his side’s consistency as the most pleasing aspect of this campaign and with each player in the knowledge they must remain on top form to keep their place, the Blues are certainly benefiting from the squad competition as a collective unit.