West Ham 2-2 Manchester City: Fabianski saves Mahrez’s penalty as the battle for the title continues

Manchester City rallied from two goals behind to draw 2-2 against West Ham, and Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty to seal the victory.

Jarrod Bowen’s first-half double threatened to gift the initiative to second-placed Liverpool, who would have definitely enjoyed the task of pulling level on points and reducing the goal differential against Southampton on Tuesday night.

But Jack Grealish equalized after the interval, and an own goal by Vladimir Coufal brought City level to keep their championship hopes alive.

Pep Guardiola’s men were then handed a penalty kick, which if converted would have left them needing just a point against Aston Villa next weekend to retain the Premier League title.

However, Lukasz Fabianski rescued Riyad Mahrez’s attempt, ensuring that the chase for first place goes to the wire.

It was a dramatic finale to a wild game that started in celebration mode before kickoff as West Ham said an emotional goodbye to club captain Mark Noble.

The weeping 35-year-old took in the applause from all throughout the stadium, including Prince Albert of Monaco, a friend of the midfielder.

West Ham were not going to let one of their favorite sons retire quietly after 18 years of service, with a soliloquy from East End royalty Danny Dyer, a gigantic number 16 jersey in the middle of the field, and cards spelling out his name in the seats.

But not even the guy who has seen and done it all in claret and blue could have guessed what was to happen in a wild game.

The carnival mood was amplified even further in the 24th minute when Bowen overcame the City offside trap by racing onto Pablo Fornals’ over-the-top pass.

The England prospect won his footrace with Aymeric Laporte but still had a lot of work to do, around City keeper Ederson and finishing beautifully from the angle.

City surged back, but West Ham held them at away, with Fabianski tipping over Laporte’s shot.

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko both shot wide, while Fabianksi saved Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick.

Then, just before halftime, Bowen was sent scampering away again by Tomas Soucek and smashing a low finish beyond Ederson.

City needed a fast reaction, and they got it when West Ham’s lines were not cleared just after halftime.

Rodri sent a high loose ball to Grealish, whose shot crashed into the ground, off Dawson’s leg, and high into the goal.

Bernardo Silva seemed to be on his way to bringing City level seconds later, but Fabianski saved his volley at the near post.

When Michail Antonio robbed Zinchenko on the byline, he set up Bowen, who hit the side netting.

Then Fernandinho’s backpass was intercepted by Antonio, who botched his attempted lob, giving City another reprieve.

When Mahrez swung in a free-kick, the diving Coufal headed into his own net, they took full advantage.

After Dawson pulled down Jesus, Mahrez had a penalty kick with six minutes left, but Fabianski saved it brilliantly and City had to settle for a draw.

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