By Dan Carter

17th Sep, 2023 | 2:40pm

Alphonse Areola shines for West Ham United in Man City defeat with Premier League record saves

West Ham United won’t want to spend too much thinking about their defeat to Manchester City as the Hammers weren’t quite at their best.

Far better sides will struggle against Pep Guardiola’s team and individually a number of David Moyes’ players caught the eye with impressive displays, including James Ward-Prowse who managed to score his second goal since his summer transfer.

Despite conceding three goals, the same as he had done throughout the first four matches of the campaign, it was Alphonse Areola who impressed the most at the London Stadium on Saturday (16 September) making 10 saves in the match [Whoscored].

No goalkeeper has made more saves in a single match this season and it is just a continuation of the excellent form that the Frenchman has been in during the early stages of the campaign that has been the basis of the Hammers’ early season success.

Eight of the 30-year-old’s stops came inside the penalty area, while he made seven balls recoveries as he faced an incredibly high 4.3 expected goals and while no goalkeeper will want to concede three goals, it was probably an unfair reflection of Aerola’s performance. (Fotmob)

One criticism that had been levelled at the Irons keeper was his poor pass completion rate, before the international break he was the worst stopper in terms of passing in the Premier League, only being successful with 42.2 per cent of his attempted efforts.

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But at the London Stadium, he completed 93 per cent of his efforts, only misplacing one of his 14 passes and was even accurate with 75 per cent of his long balls, a huge improvement on the 21 per cent success rate he had before the international break.

If Areola can be this consistent with the ball at his feet for the remainder of the season, it will be a huge boost to the Hammers in possession while he has been consistently excellent in terms of saving between the posts.

He may earn a much-needed rest should Lukas Fabianski be preferred for the Europa League clash against TSC Backa Topola and will be expected to be ready for another hero performance against Liverpool at Anfield next week.

In other West Ham news, the Hammers have planned contract negotiations with Michail Antonio this year