West Ham United v Manchester City: Five Talking Points

West Ham United fell to their first defeat in the Premier League this season against reigning champions Manchester City.

And reflecting on the 3-1 defeat, KUMB's Chris Wilkerson picks out five key moments that cost West Ham their unbeaten record.

Count Doku as a Good

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Target - On a pitch full of very good performances, the young Belgian winger stood out as an exciting and vibrant threat on the left. You can see why West Ham were making overtures in his direction this summer as the manager looks to find a perfect solution on the left. There doesn’t appear to be one in his squad he really believes in - although Kudus could be used there yet - but Doku is a sign of the quality being targeted.

No Álvarez Alternative

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When the Mexican was forced off, hopefully with a minor issue, The Hammers lost a key player. At best, Paquetá is a solution in his absence, but it’s hardly ideal for our best passer to be so deep that he can’t impact further forward, and he’s probably not the man to drop into a back three. Soucek offers defensive work, but cannot do the whole job. What is the plan without him?

Maintaining Momentum

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It was important to perform well against Manchester City. The result was no way ideal, but a good performance and the ability to play passing football against such a strong team will keep the group encouraged and enthused.

Kudus Plays Right

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The new man made his home debut, getting his first significant minutes, and they came from the right wing. But he also played the right way for this league, showing graft and physicality, as well as a bit of bravery on the ball. It bodes well, although the manager will have to find a system to fit his players in.

Coufal Sticks to Task

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You can’t win every 1v1. Doku and Coufal both came out on top at different times, but the relentless nature of how City fed the ball wide and tried to get their new man running at the full back meant he was bound to lose some. What was impressive was his willingness to engage in the right way time and time again, and the bravery to step forward away from such a quick and direct winger when setting up the West Ham goal. He would have been excused deciding against it, given the threat behind him, but he was still bold enough to take calculated risks, and it paid off.

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