West Ham remain firmly in danger of relegation after going down 4-1 at home to Champions Manchester City.
Dominant City led after 13 minutes after Leroy Sane’s deflected drive, before Pablo Zabaleta diverted into his own net.
Aaron Cresswell breathed life into West Ham just before half-time with a superb free-kick, but Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho made the points safe in the second half.
The Hammers remain three points ahead of 18th place Southampton, but fall four behind the Saints goal difference. City meanwhile are now within two points of Chelsea’s Premier League points record of 95, and can break the record next week.
David Moyes made three changes following last week’s 4-1 defeat at Arsenal. Adrian replaced the ineligible Joe Hart, while Patrice Evra and Manuel Lanzini replaced Arthur Masuaku and Joao Mario as the Hammers moved to a 3-4-3 formation.
Former City right-back Pablo Zabaleta started at wing back, with Patrice Evra on the left. Marko Arnautovic was again preferred to Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez in attack.
Pep Guardiola chose to freshen up his starting lineup as well, making four changes from the demolition of Swansea a week ago.
Vincent Kompany and Danilo dropped out of defence, replaced by Kyle Walker and Nicolas Otamendi. Fernandinho returned from a two-game suspension in place of David Silva, while namesake Bernardo also made way for Leroy Sane.Embed from Getty Images
City bossed possession from the off and deserved the lead Sane provided on 13 minutes. The German’s angled drive looked on course to be saved by Adrian in the Hammers’ goal, but Patrice Evra’s unfortunate attempt at a block sprung the ball helplessly into the back of the net.
The Hammers struggled to retain possession throughout, and City’s relentless pressure told after another 14 minutes.
Adrian was unlucky once again, diverting Kevin De Bruyne’s dangerous cross away from goal but into the legs of teammates Declan Rice and Zabaleta, who got the final touch as the ball spun in.
Marko Arnautovic reminded fans of his dangerous physicality as he robbed Ederson after a poor touch, but the Brazilian was reprieved as a foul was called.
West Ham were not to be denied however, former Ipswich left-back Cresswell beautifully curling home a free-kick after Fernandes was brought down just outside the area.
The Hammers went into half-time minutes later, feeling fortunate to be only one goal adrift. City fans may have worried for another comeback, following second half capitulations against Manchester United and Liverpool in recent weeks.Embed from Getty Images
Such fears would have been misplaced. Gabriel Jesus scored shortly after the restart to take the wind out of the Hammers’ sails, before Fernandinho beautifully finished a flowing move.
Lifeless West Ham laboured to the final whistle without conceding again, but looked toothless as City passed the ball with immeasurable ease.
The Hammers travel to Leicester next week knowing defeat could pull them back into the relegation zone. City meanwhile host Huddersfield, hoping to move onto a Premier League record 96 points.
Written by Sam Hanys.