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Sunday 4 December 2016

Man City new signing Kevin De Bruyne's calm despite Hammers defeat

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action

Manchester City were left to rue their luck after suffering their first setback of the season at the hands of West Ham.

The Premier League leaders lost their 100 per cent record as they were beaten 2-1 by the Hammers at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

City rallied strongly - after Kevin de Bruyne replied to early strikes from Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho with his first goal for the club - but were unable to turn the game around. Manuel Pellegrini's expensively-assembled side created a series of chances in the second half but West Ham, and particularly goalkeeper Adrian, would not yield.

It was another notable away scalp for the London side under their new boss Slaven Bilic having already won at Arsenal and Liverpool. They now have 12 points from their six games, just three behind a City side that threatened to sweep all before them in their powerful start to the campaign. "I don't think we played a bad game," said De Bruyne, who had been making his first start for City since his £54million club record move from Wolfsburg last month.

"Obviously we didn't start well with the two goals against us but they were almost the only two chances they got.

"With the goal we scored before half-time everybody had the feeling we could change the game. In the second half we put a lot of pressure on West Ham but we didn't find the net."

City were stunned after six minutes as Moses struck - his first goal since joining the Hammers on loan from Chelsea - with a fine shot from outside the box.

Questions were asked of City's defence, which was missing captain Vincent Kompany for the first time this season, and there were further problems as Sakho snatched a second in a goalmouth scramble following a corner.

De Bruyne, City's best player, sparked hope of a revival with a well-taken goal just before the interval but the hosts, without the injured David Silva, could not make any more of their 27 shots count on the scoreboard.

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