Man City knew they were in for a tough game - Pearce says Guardiola's side showed West Ham 'respect'

By Sports Desk October 27, 2021

Stuart Pearce believes Manchester City showed "respect" to West Ham in their EFL Cup clash as the Hammers won 5-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in normal time.

Guardiola made nine changes to the side that beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1 in the Premier League on Saturday, but his line-up still featured the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.

However, West Ham frustrated the competition holders - who have won the last four editions in a row - and eventually knocked them out in a penalty shootout, with Phil Foden guilty of the only miss.

West Ham first-team coach Pearce believes City were respectful towards a side that have enjoyed a strong campaign so far, sitting fourth in the league and top of their Europa League group, adding the Hammers deserved to progress.

"This is an outstanding Man City side, they came with a very strong lineup," Pearce said after the game. "That was potentially a mark of respect for us, knowing they were going to be in for a tough game.

"Man City have the majority of the possession whenever they play anyone in the world so you have to suffer without the ball. Our resilience and defensive work when they had the majority of possession was good and what we did with the ball trying to play against their press was pleasing.

"You win some, you lose some, but the resilience of the team over 90 minutes, even though we missed a couple of decent chances, with the honesty and resilience of the team, they deserved to get over the line.

"It was a really good night for the club, 60,000 in the ground, you couldn’t get a ticket for the game. It’s absolutely superb and the players deserve the credit - and a bit to our manager as well who drives this club on a daily basis. Anyone with 1,000 matches deserves to be taken seriously.

"There is a level of honesty here and hard work drives us on. We will not get ahead of ourselves and keep working."

City head coach Pep Guardiola was gracious in defeat, praising West Ham but also insisting that his side would be back in search of cup glory next season.

"An incredible run has finished," Guardiola said. "We finished in a good way. We played in a really good way, creating chances against a team who defended deep. On penalties, they were better. Congratulations to West Ham. Next year we will be back.

"One of the toughest games we played at home last season was against them. They are doing well in the Premier League and in the Europa League and now in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Fantastic team and fantastic manager."

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