Alphonse Areola: “We have shown we can compete with the big teams”  

Manchester City came from a goal behind to beat West Ham United 3-1 at the London Stadium thanks to goals from Bernardo Silva, Erling Haaland and a first for Jeremy Doku- who hauled his side level just 44 seconds into the second half.  

James Ward-Prowse put the hosts ahead just past the half-hour mark when he headed home Vladimír Coufal’s cross.  

City rallied in the second half and a first goal in blue for Jeremy Doku was followed up by a deft flick from Bernardo Silva and a customary Erling Haaland goal. 

Haaland was made to wait for his goal though, as he squandered two guilt-edged chances as well as being denied by a stunning close-range save from West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola. 

“We defended well in the first half against him and the team but yeah, he’s just on a different planet,” Areola told the media in attendance after the game. 

The Frenchman was also keen to acknowledge how West Ham are beginning to establish the London Stadium as a fortress, with some positive performances against the ‘Top Six’ sides over the last year or so. 

“The most important thing is that we have shown that we can compete with the top sides,” he said. 

“Against this kind of team, we must be more clinical, and we need to focus on every little detail until the end. 

“They pushed us, and we managed to be strong, but we were unlucky. In the second half, we were good in parts but in the end, we need to be stronger.” 

West Ham have put on some magnificent displays at the London Stadium against the top sides- such as that win earlier in the season against Chelsea- but as Areola alluded to, they need to be more alert for the remainder of the game. 

They were perhaps fortunate not to concede in the first half and then to give away a goal so soon after the restart will be a huge annoyance to David Moyes.  

With the win, City now move back to the top of the Premier League with a flawless start to the season whereas West Ham tasted their first defeat of the campaign and drop down to 6th

European football is next on the agenda for both sides too, as Manchester City host Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League and West Ham return to the London Stadium for the visit of Serbian outfit Bačka Topola in the Europa League.  

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