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Manchester City continued their winning ways this past weekend, when they clinched a 2-1 victory over David Moyes’ West Ham United, courtesy of another late goal, this time from David Silva.
The Hammers took a surprise lead through Angelo Ogbonna and were sailing along well, sitting back and defending deep until Nicolas Otamendi restored parity soon after half-time before Silva sealed the win with less than ten minutes left to play.
The headlines were largely dominated by how City produced another strong performance filled with grit and determination to further enhance their title credentials, and rightly so. However, West Ham deserved due credit for making life difficult for the champions-elect and one person, in particular, who stood out for the struggling side was goalkeeper Adrian.
Coming into the side for the game to replace loanee Joe Hart who was ineligible to play against his parent club, the Spaniard made his first Premier League appearance of the season and made sure that he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The 30-year old produced 5 very important saves against Pep Guardiola’s side to keep his team in the game until the end, while also showing good levels of confidence and command in his box, especially considering that he was playing his first league game of the season.
Adrian did play all the three Carabao Cup games for the East Londoners, in which he had put up a good showing as well. In the three games, the Spaniard managed to keep to clean sheets and conceded just two goals, which was in the 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
In comparison, Hart, who has been a regular between the sticks in the Premier League, has managed just 3 shut-outs in 14 league games and has conceded a total of 30 goals already, which is five more than what the Spaniard let in, in his 16 league outings last season.
The Spaniard joined the East London outfit in 2013 from Spanish La Liga side Real Betis and soon established himself as the preferred option between the sticks ahead of the incumbent Jussi Jaaskelainen. He might have lost his spot for a brief period to Darren Randolph last season but finished 2016/17 as the number one choice, only to be usurped by Hart this time around. Till date, he has played a total of 127 games for West Ham in 4 seasons, in which he has managed a total of 35 clean sheets.
He may have had somewhat of an indifferent campaign last time around but Adrian has proved each time he has taken the field this season that he can be a reliable presence between the sticks and his display against City this past weekend should prompt manager David Moyes to back him and give him a run of games, ahead of Joe Hart.