Manchester City lost their long unbeaten record in the Premier League as Slaven Bilic’s West Ham completed an incredible hat-trick of away victories thanks to heroic goalkeeper Adrian.
First-half strikes by Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho allowed the Hammers to end City’s 11-match winning run in the league and add them to Arsenal and Liverpool as famous scalps on the road.
City, who lost David Silva to injury in the warm-up, reduced arrears through Kevin De Bruyne on his full debut and battered the West Ham goal in the second half, registering 26 shots on target.
Adrian made outstanding saves from Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi on a busy evening for the Spaniard. But the final outcome was a second defeat in five days for City at The Etihad following their slip-up in the Champions League. They remain on top of the Premier League but West Ham currently stand as their closest challengers, just three points adrift.
City’s last domestic defeat was at Manchester United on April 12 and it leaves Leicester City as the only Premier League side not to have lost this season.
Any complacency Manchester City felt about the opposition given their own blistering start to the Premier League season didn’t take long to dissipate.
Already short of captain Vincent Kompany with a calf strain, Manuel Pellegrini was forced into an additional late reshuffle when Silva was injured in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Jesus Navas.
It meant two of City’s big summer signings – Nicolas Otamendi and De Bruyne – thrust into key positions on their first starts for the club. £54million De Bruyne was asked to play as a No 10 following Silva’s withdrawal, though he did interchange positions with Raheem Sterling during the game.
City’s uncertainty was clear as West Ham struck after only six minutes – the first goal City had conceded in the Premier League for nine hours, 33 minutes, a run dating back to last season.
After Fernandinho had been denied by Adrian with a header, the Premier League’s away-day specialists went up the other end and scored. Dimitri Payet fed Moses just outside the box and as Eliaquim Mangala and Otamendi inexcusably stood off, the on-loan Chelsea forward arrowed a low shot from 20 yards beyond Joe Hart’s despairing dive.