December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Steve Blowers, Recorder Reporter
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Premier League: West Ham United 1 Manchester City 3
After all the euphoria of their wonderful win at White Hart Lane last time out, West Ham United were brought crashing back to earth at Upton Park by the sensational Sergio Aguero.
The City striker went to the top of the their scoring charts, when he netted either side of the break to take his tally to seven for the season.
And although Ricardo Vaz Te gave Hammers hope with a clever overhead kick on the hour-mark, Aguero rounded off his Man-of-the-Match display by inviting David Silva to seal victory with 10 minutes remaining.
Not surprisingly, Sam Allardyce had named an unchanged side from the team that had won so handsomely at Tottenham Hotspur and, tactically, that meant that Vaz Te and Stewart Downing were asked to start out as additional, doubled-up full-backs, while the revelation that has been Ravel Morrison alternated in attack with Kevin Nolan and Mohamed Diame, with Mark Noble anchoring the midfield. The returning Carlton Cole also found himself on the bench.
And after Noble’s early cross was just missed by the vaulting Vaz Te, it was Diame who unleashed the first meaningful effort of the afternoon with a 25-yard swerver that flew just wide on the quarter-hour mark.
City – kicking off in fifth spot, eight places and five points ahead of Big Sam’s side - had also hammered home three goals on their last outing, but after seeing off Everton a fortnight ago, Manuel Pellegrini made five changes as Micah Richards, Gael Clichy, Matija Nastasic, Javi Garcia and Samir Nasri were each given call-ups.
And within seconds of seeing Diame let fly, the visitors took the lead when Fernandinho stroked a forward pass from the halfway line, which the feigning Alvaro Negredo simply let roll past his feet and, with the home defence now in an utter state of confusion, Aguero strolled on to the inch-perfect through-ball and slotted past the helplessly exposed Jussi Jaaskelainen from 18 yards.
On 20 minutes, the unmarked Argentine attacker almost doubled the lead with a fierce volley that flew straight to the well-placed Hammers ‘keeper and, shortly afterwards, the flying Finn did well to parry another angled shot from the City dangerman.
As the Hammers tried to get back into the contest, Morrison dragged a low effort wide before the rampaging Razvan Rat was felled in full flight by the consequently cautioned Silva, who then turned victim, when Nolan collected his second yellow of the campaign for scything down the Spaniard.
Vaz Te also saw himself denied when Nastasic cleared inside the six-yard box, while at the other end, Negredo fired an angled effort beyond the far post before Jaaskelainen ensured that West Ham departed at the interval chasing just that one-goal deficit, when he fantastically fisted Yaya Toure’s rising 15-yarder over the angle.
But six minutes after the interval, that man Aguero was in the thick of things again, when referee Michael Oliver decided that he had been sandwiched just outside the Hammers area.
And when Silva floated over the consequent left-wing free-kick, the unmarked Aguero sent an eight-yard header through the clutches of Jaaskelainen under the keeper’s right-hand angle.
In reply, Joe Hart bravely dived into Diame’s studs only for the loose ball to cannon off the in-rushing Nolan but, having gone so close, West Ham did not have to wait long to reduce the arrears.
Indeed, on 58 minutes, Rat’s deep left-wing cross was nodded down by Downing and when Morrison hooked the ball towards the edge of the six-yard box, Vaz Te sent an acrobatic overhead kick inside the far post.
City almost conjured up an instant response that saw Negredo rock the underside of the crossbar with a rising, angled shot, but that was to be his last contribution of the evening as he was then replaced by Aleksandra Kolarov.
Allardyce made two switches of his own with the hobbling Guy Demel making way for Joey O’Brien, while Matt Jarvis came on for Vaz Te, whose fourth goal of the season had certainly buoyed the East Enders.
Those two replacements were still finding his feet, though, as the hat-trick seeking Aguero forced Jaaskelainen into a full-length save, while Silva and Kolarov also went close.
With 10 minutes remaining, though, all home resistance was ended, when Toure released Aguero, who cleverly back-heeled into the path of Silva and, as Winston Reid slid in, the Spanish raider curled a 15-yarder beyond Jaaskelainen and under the left-hand angle to send City up into fourth place, just three points behind leaders Arsenal.
HAMMERS: Jaaskelainen, Demel (O’Brien 65), Rat, Tomkins, Reid, Downing, Vaz Te (Jarvis 65), Noble, Morrison, Diame, Nolan (Petric 82). Unused subs: Adrian, Taylor, J.Cole, C.Cole.
CITY: Hart, Richards, Clichy, Nastasic, Garcia, Fernandinho, Silva, Toure, Nasri (Milner 74), Aguero, Negredo (Kolarov 66), Unused subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Dzeko, Jovetic.
Booked: Silva (26), Nolan (34), Clichy (63)
Referee: Michael Oliver
West Ham will travel to Championship outfit Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup.