Impressive City Ease Past Hammers

Manchester City 3-0 West Ham United

Manchester City secured a comfortable victory over ten-man West Ham on Sunday afternoon to hand Mark Hughes his first win as City manager.

The home side completely dominated the match at the City of Manchester Stadium and were unlucky not to open the scoring in the first period. Mark Noble was sent-off for West Ham for receiving two bookings in the space of five minutes just before the interval - leaving the visitors facing an uphill struggle to get anything from the game.

Goals arrived for City in the second half with Daniel Sturridge blasting the ball home (65) and Elano scoring a brace with two accomplished finishes (70 & 75). The visitors hardly threatened home ‘keeper Joe Hart and the Blues will look ahead with confidence after a classy display.

Team News

New £6 million signing Vincent Kompany was handed his Manchester City debut in a holding midfield role, replacing Gelson Fernandes. Michael Ball, Daniel Sturridge and Stephen Ireland also came in after last week’s 4-2 loss to Aston Villa, with Ched Evans, Javier Garrido and Kelvin Etuhu dropped to the substitutes’ bench.

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley had the rare opportunity to field an unchanged line-up. His side got the better of Wigan last week and Dean Ashton – who had been a doubt after withdrawing from England duty – started alongside Carlton Cole in attack.

First Half

City were the first to threaten in the 13th minute and were somehow unable to score after a goalmouth scramble. Scott Parker and Julien Faubert failed to clear a Martin Petrov corner and Calum Davenport headed Stephen Ireland’s resulting chip off the line. Tal Ben-Haim then followed up with a drive from the edge of the box which struck Davenport and ricocheted on to the cross bar as the Hammers somehow survived.

On 21 minutes City were inches away from the breakthrough again as Petrov clipped the outside of the post after an outstanding thirty yard free-kick, before Sturridge struck wide from twelve yards after good work from Ireland.

West Ham were struggling to create anything in front of goal and were enduring problems in their bid to gain a foothold in the game, with their defence under consistent pressure. Things quickly went from bad to worse for the visitors when young midfielder Mark Noble was sent-off after receiving two red cards in the space of four minutes.

In what was the correct call by referee Howard Webb, Noble received his second yellow for a reckless lunge on City starlet Michael Johnson, just moments after being booked for a deliberate handball.

West Ham were able to hang on until the break, but not before their goalkeeper, Robert Green, saved well from a long-range Johnson shot after a surging run forward from Ben-Haim was curtailed and after a City penalty claim was turned down after Lucas Neil seemed to handle in the penalty area.

Second Half

A stretcher was needed for Micah Richards in the early stages of the second half after a nasty head collision with Ben-Haim forced the 20-year-old off. Elano shot tamely at Green as the game got back underway after Faubert had carelessly lost the ball at the edge of his own penalty area.

On 65 minutes City got the breakthrough that they deserved. Sturridge showed strength to shield the ball and feed Petrov who crossed from the left. Matthew Upson then failed to clear successfully and the ball fell back into the path of the 18-year-old who blasted the ball past Green from close-range.

And it was two for City within five minutes. Vedran Corluka superbly played in Ireland who timed his run perfectly to slice through the defence and commit Green. Ireland then cut the ball back to Elano, who despite being under heavy pressure from the West Ham defence, was able to coolly control the ball and finish accurately into the left-hand corner of the net to seal Mark Hughes’ first three points at the club.

The home side were now rampant and the third goal, which came within fifteen minutes of the first, was almost a carbon copy of the second. Corluka and Ireland exchanged a neat one-two as Ireland surged past Neil and again cut the ball back to Elano - who finished comfortably on the volley for his third goal in two games.

Dean Ashton shot over with a late free-kick but in reality West Ham never looked like scoring, and indeed home ‘keeper Joe Hart did not have a meaningful save to make in the ninety minutes as City comfortably held out for a clean sheet - led by impressive debutant Kompany.

Ten man West Ham came crushing down to a 3-0 defeat after M. Noble was send off during the first half.

65′ [1 - 0] D. Sturridge

70′ [2 - 0] B. Elano

76′ [3 - 0] B. Elano

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Impressive City Ease Past Hammers Reviewed by admin Ucop on 8:04 PM Rating: 5

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