By Saikat Mandal

29th Nov, 2021 | 7:40am

Pep Guardiola raves about West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Pep Guardiola has showered praise on West Ham, and Declan Rice in particular, after Manchester City won 2-1 in the Premier League clash on Sunday.

In a game played in a snowstorm before half-time, Ilkay Gundogan gave City the lead in the first half. Fernandinho added another in the dying minutes. Manuel Lanzini scored a spectacular goal in the stoppage time, but it was a mere consolation.

After the match, Guardiola shared just what he thought about West Ham’s Rice.

“Declan Rice is an exceptional player,” said Guardiola to BBC Sport.

Below-par performance

City are in red-hot form at the moment, and they have shifted another gear, having now picked up five wins in a row.

However, West Ham never really got going.

The Hammers came into this fixture with loads of confidence, and they tried to be as compact as possible.

To a certain extent they managed to stick to their plans, but attacking wise, they hardly challenged City’s defence.

Arthur Masukau was brought into the side to add more protection on the left-flank, but he was very poor and hardly made an impact.

The Hammers made some brilliant goal-line interventions to keep them in the contest, but they just couldn’t come up with a plan to break City’s defence.

Rice was brilliant as usual. He tackled, made timely interceptions, played out some very good passes, and carried the ball into the final third with great energy at times.

The England midfielder has been in phenomenal form this season, and the praise from Guardiola is richly deserved.

West Ham have now lost back-to-back games in the Premier League. They face Brighton on Wednesday.

In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.

Be sure to follow West Ham Zone on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Hammers and more exclusive interviews with Frank McAvennie.