West Ham United star Declan Rice stood out as the midfield enforcer of David Moyes’ plans on Saturday as the east London outfit held Manchester City to a one-all draw.
Michail Antonio opened the scoring at the London Stadium in spectacular fashion by turning the ball home in the 18th-minute with fantastic technique, but saw his effort cancelled out by a 51st-minute strike from Phil Foden which salvaged a point for Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues.
Moyes trusted Rice to once more begin affairs in the engine room of his starting line-up, marking the 11-cap England international’s 25th straight Premier League appearance since the Scottish coach returned to the Irons.
Rice again wore the captain’s armband, too, with Mr West Ham Mark Noble only named among the substitutes, and delivered a performance worthy of the honour as the 21-year-old demonstrated why he was valued at £80million this summer.
Rice’s development at the London Stadium saw Chelsea court his services throughout the recently-concluded market but they refused to match West Ham’s rumoured asking price, which has left the Irons considering awarding the midfielder a £120,000-per-week contract.
England boss Gareth Southgate has similarly been impressed with the midfielder’s progress, noting during the October internationals via quotes by the official West Ham website: “We are delighted, pleased with how he is developing.
“We have leaders who are older players, but he is a younger one. He is a good professional, wants to learn, wants to work for the team, digs in for the team, is getting more vocal on the pitch. He has the respect of the rest of the group.
“He has huge potential and the reason he has that potential is because he has a great mentality and desire to keep improving. He has other good examples among the senior players here. He knows the ones to follow and that is a good start.”
Rice’s ‘great mentality’ that Southgate lauds was on full display against Manchester City this weekend, as he displayed what is becoming a customary performance from the 21-year-old.
The midfielder offered a near-Man of the Match worthy 7.6 out of 10 performance on Saturday, per SofaScore, with only Citizens left-back Joao Cancelo (7.9) delivering a display that warranted a higher score.
Rice achieved his mark by winning six of his seven total duels – only losing one of two aerial contests – and never misplacing a pass, having found teammates with each of his 28 efforts including all four long balls.
One of the youngster’s forward passes was also deemed key and Rice beat his marker with each of his two attempted dribbles, while aiding defensively with four interceptions, three tackles, one clearance and not committing any fouls in a complete display.