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West Ham’s Ben Johnson was a defensive beast in win over Man City

West Ham United advanced into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup with a win over current title holders Manchester City at the London Stadium on Wednesday night.

And once again, it was another game in which young academy gem Ben Johnson started and another game that resulted in a clean sheet – very impressive considering the opposition.

It was the sixth time this campaign that the 21-year-old was involved in a David Moyes defensive masterclass, having also kept out the likes of Everton, Spurs, Man Utd and Genk.

The Scotsman’s usual first-choice Vladimir Coufal has been out through injury and he should be concerned with Johnson’s form as he’ll be a very hard man to drop whenever the 29-year-old returns.

Should Johnson keep his place over Coufal?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

After the match, Irons assistant Stuart Pearce waxed lyrical about the youngster. He said (via football.london):

“He’s a wonderful professional to deal with and work with.

“We’re very proud to have him out of our academy system as well, which is a real plus for us. Especially with the connection to this club with the Academy.

“And I think he’s just developing and getting better and better and like with all young players, the more game time they have, the better they’ll get so I am delighted for the boy.”

A lot of the credit for the clean sheet would’ve gone to Alphonse Areola, who was mightily impressive between the sticks. He was bombarded with 25 efforts on goal and earned SofaScore’s highest rating, an 8.7, for his troubles.

However, it was Johnson who arguably stole the show in east London as he shut down one of Pep Guardiola’s biggest threats in Raheem Sterling.

Also per SofaScore, the Chadwell Heath graduate won 100% of his duels, proving to be a rock against the regular England international, whilst he also led the match for clearances (five) and chipped in with a further tackle, interception and block.

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Can you name all 10 ex-Hammers? First up... He assisted the first goal at the London Stadium but made only 8 appearances for the Irons, who is he?

He really put his body on the line to help steer the Hammers to victory, albeit in a penalty shootout.

The Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser also wrote glowingly about the young right-back in his post-game ratings column – earning a 7/10, he said: ‘Vital goal-saving tackle on Gundogan early on and energy down the right again showed why right-back injury crisis has been averted in recent weeks.’

Whilst it was Areola making the more evident impact in goal, it’s Johnson who deserves his fair share of plaudits. The 5 foot 9 beast, who earns a reported £19k-per-week, was the star of the show at the London Stadium on Wednesday night.

AND in other news, Moyes may have another Antonio in West Ham’s “hard-working” 17 y/o who “loves to score”

Article title: West Ham’s Ben Johnson was a defensive beast in win over Man City

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