Monday, 27 October 2014

West Ham United 2 - 1 Manchester City

25/10/2014
15:00
Boleyn Ground

West Ham United 2 - 1 Manchester City

1-0 Morgan Amalfitano 21'
2-0 Diafra Sakho 75'
2-1 David Silva 77'

 Analysis 
West Ham United 2, Manchester City 1.

Erm... What?

Positives
Let's be honest, pretty much everything in Saturday's game was positive.

There were individual performances all over the park, we defended wonderfully, we didn't lose our attacking intent, we took the Champions and we beat them. It wasn't a smash and grab 11 men behind the ball job either. We just plain beat them.

First thing's first, the defence.

Before the game, I said that the way to beat City is to defend with your life. Block everything, throw yourself into tackles, and just get the ball away. On Saturday afternoon, we did exactly that.

We put in 37 attempted tackles. We made 38 clearances. We made 18 interceptions. We made 20 blocks (passes, crosses and shots).

The image below shows ours tackles (left) and blocks (right). We only won 32% of our tackles, but that isn't really important against a side like City. It's not about winning possession back a lot of the time, it's more about disrupting their flow and stopping them from playing. By flying into tackles everywhere, we simply refused to allow City to build anything positive going forward for large periods of the game.


What was particularly pleasing about Saturday's game though, was that we didn't just shut up shop and defend with 11 men behind the ball. We know that we are a side capable of defending against the best sides - remember the clean sheet against Chelsea last year? - but against City we actually got forward and attacked with menace too.

It was incredibly refreshing to see the side continue doing what they have been successful with in recent weeks. Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho were their usual energetic and dangerous selves, whilst Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell got forward with regularity down the flanks, to provide some serious offensive threat.

The image below shows the chances created by the side, and our attempted take ons. We attempted 10 take ons on the day, showing our intent throughout.


Negatives
It's hard to be negative about such a fantastic performance, but there were some areas of improvement. 

This was the performance that saw our worst pass completion record by some way. We only completed 64% of our passes against City, which saw us struggle to retain possession and give our defence a rest from the waves of City attacks.


The image below shows the pass completion of each of the 14 Hammers on the day. The midfield all posted reasonable figures, but all of the defenders completed less than 60% of their passes, and look at Diafra Sakho on just 13% (Kevin Nolan didn't attempt any passes, hence his 0%).


At the end of the day, our pass completion doesn't matter if we create and convert chances. But having a better passing accuracy would enable the defence and Adrián to have a bit more of a rest against the top opposition.

Key Player
We had a number of stand out performances on Saturday lunchtime. Really, you could pick almost all of them out as top performers, but there was one man who stood out for me.

Alex Song put in the sort of performance that his reputation said he would when he arrived in East London. The Cameroonian has taken a few games to really get into his stride, but he really arrived on Saturday.

Song was the calming influence we needed in midfield, hassling the opposition players, keeping possession and just running the game.

He completed 77% of his passes (4th best in the side), completed one take on, made two interceptions, blocked two passes and blocked one shot. He also put in a whopping 9 attempted tackles, winning 3 of them.

In truth, the stats don't really do justice to what was an excellent midfield performance from the #30.

The image below shows his heat map and attempted tackles. You can clearly see that he was everywhere on the day, a true box to box performance.


Conclusion
Saturday's performance must go down as one of the best day's of Sam Allardyce's reign.

Not only did we get an excellent result against the league champions, but it was the manner in which we got the win. We basically out performed one of the best sides in Europe in both attack and defence.

It doesn't really get much better than that.

 General Play 
WhoScored Performance Rating
4-1-2-1-2 Formation 4-4-2

(7.3) Adrián - Joe Hart (6.3)
(6.4) Carl Jenkinson - Pablo Zabaleta (6.8)
(7.6) James Collins - Vincent Kompany (6.5)
(7.1) Winston Reid - Eliaquim Mangala (7.8)
(6.9) Aaron Cresswell - Gael Clichy (6.2)
(6.8) Mark Noble - Jesus Navas (7.3)
(7.3) Morgan Amalfitano - Yaya Toure (7.6)
(6.9) Alex Song - Fernando (6.7)
(6.7) Stewart Downing - David Silva (8.2)
(8.4) Diafra Sakho - Edin Dzeko (5.9)
(7.7) Enner Valencia - Sergio Aguero (7.1)

(6.9) Cheikhou Kouyaté - Stevan Jovetic (6.3)
(5.9) Carlton Cole - James Milner (6.7)
(6.1) Kevin Nolan - Aleksandar Kolarov (6.3)

Best Performance
(8.4) Diafra Sakho - David Silva (8.2)

Worst Performance
(5.9) Carlton Cole - Edin Dzeko (5.9)

37% Possession 63%

208 Passes Attempted 537
Mark Noble 32 Most Attempted 96 Yaya Toure

64% Passing Accuracy 82%
47% In Opp. Half 74%
Mark Noble 91% Best Accuracy (min. 15 passes) 98% Fernando

47 Long Balls 53
23% % Long Balls 10%
Aaron Cresswell 12 Most Long Balls (excl. GK) 12 Yaya Toure

Most Frequent Pass Combination
Noble to Song 8 - 21 Silva to Toure

 14 Aerial Duels Won 25 
 36% Success 64% 
Diafra Sakho 9 Most Won 6 Eliaquim Mangala

Mark Noble 47 Most Touches 112 Yaya Toure

 Offensive Play 
12 Attempts on Goal 21
4 On Target 5
6 Off Target 11
2 Blocked 5
25% From Outside the Box 48%
Enner Valencia 4 Most Shots 7 Sergio Aguero

7 Chances Created 14
Aaron Cresswell 2 Most Chances Created 4 David Silva

19 Crosses 23
Aaron Cresswell 5 Most Attempted 11 Jesus Navas

2 Successful Crosses 10
11% Success 43%
Alex Song 1 Most Successful 6 Jesus Navas

10 Take Ons Attempted 19
7 Successful Take Ons 15
70% Success 79%
Morgan Amalfitano 2 Most Successful Take Ons 3 Sergio Aguero

 Defensive Play 
37 Tackles Attempted 32
12 Successful Tackles 13
32% Success 41%
Alex Song 3 Most Successful Tackles 4 Eliaquim Mangala

38 Clearances 41
James Collins 12 Most Clearances 13 Eliaquim Mangala

15 Interceptions 16
Winston Reid 3 Most Interceptions 2 Eliaquim Mangala

5 Shot Blocks 2
James Collins 3 Most Shot Blocks 1 Eliaquim Mangala

 Discipline 
 12 Fouls 14 
Alex Song 5 Most Fouls 6 Vincent Kompany

2 Yellow Cards 1
West Ham United:  Morgan Amalfitano,  Alex Song  
Manchester City:  Vincent Kompany   

0 Red Cards 0
West Ham United:     
Manchester City:     

 Head to Heads 
Adrián vs Joe Hart
7.3 WhoScored Rating 6.3

1 Goals Conceded 2
4 Saves 2
  
1 Claims 3
1 Successful Claims 3
100% Success 100%

29 Total Distribution 36
9 Accurate 18
31% Success 50%

13 Goal Kicks 9
4 Accurate 5
31% Success 56%
  
0 Throw Outs 5
0 Accurate 4
0% Success 80%

6 Kick from Hand 1
1 Accurate 0
17% Success 0%
  
10 Other 21
4 Accurate 9
40% Success 43%

0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0

Diafra Sakho 6 Most Passed To 5 Gael Clichy
Winston Reid 4 Most Passes From 8 Eliaquim Mangala

Winston Reid vs Vincent Kompany
7.1 WhoScored Rating 6.5

4 Aerial Duels 4
1 Duels Won 4
25% Success 100%
  
3 Tackles Attempted 5
2 Tackles Completed 0
67% Success 0%
  
10 Clearances 9
3 Interceptions 1
1 Shot Blocks 0
  
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0
  
19 Passes Attempted 46
11 Successful 36
58% Success 78%
  
0 Crosses Attempted 0
0 Successful 0
0% Success 0%
  
0 Chances Created 0
  
0 Attempts on Goal 1
0 On Target 0
0 Goals 0
  
Adrián 4 Most Passed To 9 Yaya Toure
Aaron Cresswell 2 Most Passes From 6 Pablo Zabaleta

Alex Song vs Yaya Toure
6.9 WhoScored Rating 7.6

30 Passes Attempted 96
23 Successful 85
77% Success 89%
  
0 Chances Created 2
0 Assists 0
  
0 Attempts on Goal 7
0 On Target 1
0 Goals 0
  
1 Take Ons Attempted 4
1 Take Ons Successful 3
100% Success 75%
  
1 Crosses Attempted 0
1 Successful 0
100% Success 0%
  
9 Tackles Attempted 4
3 Tackles Completed 2
33% Success 50%
  
0 Clearances 1
2 Interceptions 0
1 Shot Blocks 0
  
0 Errors Leading to Shot 0
0 Errors Leading to Goal 0
  
Mark Noble 7 Most Passed To 19 David Silva
Mark Noble 8 Most Passes From 21 David Silva

Diafra Sakho vs Sergio Aguero
8.4 WhoScored Rating 7.1

4 Attempts on Goal 6
1 On Target 1
1 Goals 1
  
37 Touches 39
8 in Penalty Area 16
21% % Penalty Area 41%

1 Chances Created 0
0 Assists 0
  
15 Passes Attempted 21
2 Successful 16
13% Success 76%
  
2 Take Ons 4
0 Successful Take Ons 3
0% Success 75%
  
19 Aerial Duels 1
9 Duels Won 0
47% Success 0%
  
Enner Valencia 1 Most Passed To 8 David Silva
Adrián 6 Most Passes From 9 David Silva