David Silva's worst Man City performance as Pellegrini's men draw
It's now more than three months since Manchester City won back-to-back Premier League matches, following Saturday's 2-2 draw with West Ham. For a team looking to challenge for the title, that's a concerning lack of momentum and something Manuel Pellegrini needs to change if he's going to pick up silverware this season.
If a 90-minute performance could sum up Pellegrini's campaign so far, this was it. At times, the visitors were in total control and came close to scoring. But equally they looked vulnerable in defence when West Ham had large spells on top.
Perhaps the biggest concern is the ease with which the defence was breached. There were a number of players not concentrating inside the first minute causing the visitors to fall behind, and a comedy show from Nicolas Otamendi allowed a throw-in to be one of the most dangerous plays of the afternoon.
David Silva's performance was also troubling; the Spaniard turning in a very below-par performance when City needed their main men to step up.
(Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Joe Hart, 8 -- As the defence falls apart around him, Hart continues to prove why he's one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He pulled off a wonderful save of the season contender from a Dimitri Payet free kick. There was nothing he could do about Enner Valencia's two goals, having been left horribly exposed by those in front of him.
DF Bacary Sagna, 5 -- The Frenchman struggled throughout with his defensive responsibilities, but he was decent in supporting the attack down the right flank.
DF Martin Demichelis, 6 -- Perhaps the veteran was the only defender in City's side who could walk off the pitch without question marks over his performance. He was good in the air, strong in the tackle and pulled off a sublime no-look pass to set up David Silva in the first half.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, 5 -- There were some good moments from the Argentine, but they were horribly overshadowed by his rash challenges high up the pitch, the silly free kicks he gave away and most crucially, by his role in the second West Ham goal. How on earth can a defender make such a meal of a throw in from 60 yards away? Valencia pounced on Otamendi's poor decision-making, and City once again had work to do to get back into the match at 2-1 down.
DF Gael Clichy, 5 -- The full-back still looks rusty but following Aleksandar Kolarov's injury against Crystal Palace, he's going to need to rediscover his form. It starts with not diving into challenges in midfield as the opposition breaks and being able to hold his position; two things he didn't do against West Ham.
MF Yaya Toure, 5 -- The Ivorian sprang to life inside the final 10 minutes as he dominated the midfield in City's push for a winner. However, he was too easily bypassed for West Ham's opener and struggled again in a central pair sitting in front of the back four.
MF Fabian Delph, 6 -- The Englishman was one of City's better performers, supporting the attack well and breaking up a number of West Ham moves through the middle. He was unlucky to be taken off in pursuit of an equaliser.
MF David Silva, 5 -- Saturday evening saw perhaps the worst Silva performance since he arrived at City in 2010. The Spaniard is struggling for form and spent the match misplacing passes, with everything he tried failing.
MF Kevin De Bruyne, 5 -- The Belgian just couldn't get going. It's been a feature of matches where he's played away from home but expected to hold his position out wide.
MF Jesus Navas, 5 -- The Spaniard worked hard but ultimately struggled to stretch the game and cause West Ham too many problems. He rarely found himself in a position to use his pace and exploit any gaps.
FW Sergio Aguero, 9 -- Without Aguero leading the line, City would have seriously struggled at West Ham. The Argentine almost single-handedly earned his side a point and he's looking back to his best following his injury layoff.
MF Raheem Sterling, 5 -- Had little impact on the performance and other than getting one decent low cross into the middle, gave West Ham nothing to worry about.
FW Kelechi Iheanacho, N/R -- Influential in dragging City level.
MF Fernando, N/R -- The Brazilian gave balance to the team and allowed Toure to push further forward.
David Mooney is a writer and a radio journalist based in Manchester. He is also news editor on 104.9 Imagine FM. Twitter: @DavidMooney