Friday 9 December 2016

Clichy demands better from City

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure look dejected at the end of their match against West Ham at Upton Park
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure look dejected at the end of their match against West Ham at Upton Park

Manchester City defender Gael Clichy looked back on two dropped points in the Premier League title race and admitted: "We have to do better."

City needed two Sergio Aguero goals to salvage a 2-2 draw at West Ham after Enner Valencia had twice fired the hosts into the lead.

They can count themselves unfortunate, having also hit the post twice through Aguero and Fabian Delph.

But in the end City were relieved to come away with a point after Hammers midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate's header rattled the crossbar in stoppage time.

"I think we can always do better. We conceded a couple of goals which tells you we can do better," full-back Clichy said.

"Overall our performance was good but the second goal killed us a bit as we were on top of them. But that's what happens if you don't take your chances.

"It's a hard place to go. We wanted the three points and we didn't get them, but we will take the positives.

"I'm not surprised at how good West Ham were, they are a great team with great players. But we can do better and we have to do better."

In among a number of impressive performers for West Ham was Sam Byram, who was thrown in for a quicker-than-expected debut after Carl Jenkinson went off 12 minutes in.

Right-back Jenkinson was injured giving away the penalty with which Aguero cancelled out Valencia's 55-second opener.

Byram, who only arrived from Leeds three days earlier, kept Kevin De Bruyne and then Raheem Sterling quiet as West Ham threatened to complete a double over City this season, only for Aguero to rescue them with 10 minutes left after Valencia had poked in his second.

"I was surprised to come on that early," Byram said (inset). "I was over the moon to be on the bench and to be involved and see how they do things down here.

"When I walked out of the tunnel and saw the bubbles in the air and saw a full house with the fans cheering, it was great. Then to be thrown on, I was really happy."

"When you've got players like we've got in our team, it makes it easier, because you've got two or three options every time you get it and I think it really helps when you've got players like that.

"Hopefully I've given the manager something to think about. That's what I've tried to do since I came in."

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