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West Ham United
May 11, 2014
• 10:00 AM
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 47300
S. Nasri 39'
V. Kompany 49'
West Ham United
Well, what a Premier League season it's been! A title race that went down to the wire was just what was required after Manchester United's runaway success last season, and that's exactly what we got. City are worthy champions, and they will be big favourites of many come August when we get going again. Just the small matter of a World Cup to whet the appetite before then. For now, I've been Tom Maston and thanks for joining me.
The players have set off on their lap around the stadium, with every corner of the Etihad getting a close-up view of the trophy and the squad that won it.
"I owe everything to him [Pellegrini]. To win it in his first year in the Premier League speaks for itself," Zabaleta reveals to Sky Sports as the City players continue to praise their manager. Pellegrini's job cannot be played down despite the superb performances from some of the players.
"It's unbelievable. I think this team has more than just talent - it has soul and talent. Whenever we do well I am happy for the club and these fans," Kompany tells Sky Sports as he is interviewed holding the trophy. After his mistake against Liverpool, there must be some huge relief for the defender.
"This team cannot be satisfied with just one title. On Tuesday we will start working on next season. These fans and this club deserve more success," Pellegrini adds before he is lifted aloft by a number of his players. After a few more join in, the Chilean is thrown in the air by his squad. There does seem to be some great morale in the squad that he has brought in since replacing Roberto Mancini.
"It's very special because in my first year in England it's not easy to get used to English football. When you achieve this title the whole season is worthwhile. It was difficult because we weren't always at the top of the table, but the most important thing we did this year was change after we got off to a bad start in away games," Pellegrini tells Sky Sports as the celebrations continue behind him. A great moment for the veteran coach.
City scored 102 goals to win the title, and though that figure comes up one short of Chelsea's record tally, they certainly displayed some fine attacking play throughout the campaign, and with Kompany leading the defensive effort, the wins they needed just kept on coming.
The fireworks have started, with the full City squad invited onto the stage by Kompany ahead of him lifting the trophy. One word, though - Toure was still limping. Is his World Cup place in doubt? We will have to wait and see.
Captain Kompany is the last to take the stage, and after receiving his medal, he is handed the Premier League trophy. The Belgina has done this before, but the jubilation is there for all to see as he lifts it aloft. Manchester City are the Premier League champions!
Hart is the first to receive his medal, followed by Demichelis. The rest of the squad follow, but I won't bore you with every one in order. Needless to say each man's name is cheered by the home fans.
A huge roar greets Pellegrini as he leads his players out onto the pitch. Scarves and national flags are ever-present as the squad soaks in the moment of their title triumph.
Some youngsters in City tracksuits carry the trophy out onto the pitch as the home fans get their first sighting of the silverware their players have won. It's back at the Etihad after a year away.
The fans are still waiting for the players to make their way back onto the field as the squad is organised into order in the tunnel. All very thorough.
What now for City? Well, they will certainly be difficult to stop in the league next season despite the strength elsewhere, but the next step surely needs to be dominating in Europe. Meanwhile, the backroom staff make their way out ionto the pitch to collect their plaudits from the fans.
The City players are in the tunnel and wearing special 'Champions - 14' shirts as they did when they won the league in 2012. Toure takes the chance to take a closer look at the winners medals as they are taken out onto the pitch as the rest of the side indulge in selfies to remember the moment.
Queen's 'We Are The Champions' rings out around the Etihad as the preparations for the presentation get going. Stages are being set up and no doubt the players will be back on the pitch in the near future. Expect a huge roar when they do.
A word for West Ham, who certainly didn't just roll over and allow Manchester City to walk to the title, and their fans have stayed behind to watch the presentation. Whether this was Allardyce's last match in charge, we don't know, but we may have an answer early next week.
The blue ribbons have been put in place on the Premier League trophy, and with the pitch being gradually cleared we will have the presentation fairly soon you would fancy. The trophy has now been in Manchester for four years. Will anyone else get their hands on it anytime soon?
"We've come strong at the end when we've needed to and we've won games when we've needed to. We're all winners and we find a way to do that," Hart tells Sky Sports after finally working his way through what he called a scrum out on the field. After being dropped earlier in the campaign, he has been as key as anyone in City's success.
The home fans are picking up their souvenirs as they find some grass to take home and remember the game by. Those still in their seats are frustrated, though, as they wait for the players to return to the pitch.
Nasri also believes Liverpool's defeat to Chelsea was the turning point in the season, and the fans certainly felt that too, with Steven Gerrard's name repeatedly sung at the Etihad after his error in that game. Since then City have been outstanding.
"It's an amazing feeling. There are now words to explain how I'm feeling right now. I'm so happy for the manager as it's his first title in Europe. He remained calm all season and it was a pleasure to work with him," Nasri tells Sky Sports. This is quite a moment for Pellegrini after some questions over his suitability for the job.
City have only been top of the table for 14 days this season, but they are there when it matters, and that's all that counts at the end of the season.
Hart has finally made it through the crowds to the tunnel, and he looks a bit worse for wear after plenty of hugs from the City fans. Plenty of memorable moments for those supporters with their camera phones out to capture the moment.
Liverpool have beaten nine-man Newcastle at Anfield, but as soon as Nasri's goal went in the title race was all but over. Kompany's strike early in the second half made it much more comfortable, and from then on it was a procession.
MANCHESTER CITY ARE THE 2013/14 PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS! Martin Atkinson blows the full time whistle, and the celebrations can begin. The players hug on the pitch while Pellegrini has his arms aloft on the touchline. The fans are on the pitch to celebrate with their heroes. What a season and what a title race!
90' + 2'
All winding down now as we approach the final whistle. City are the champions, and they have got their in a professional manner today.
Yellow Card Mark Noble
Yellow Card Sergio Agüero
Aguero picks up a booking for the trip, though Noble also gets his name taken for his part in the melee that followed. Into three minutes of stoppage time...
What's going on here? The West Ham players have taken issue with Aguero, and a number of the visiting players are pushing the Argentine striker. It seems he tripped Noble off the ball, which was a silly thing to do in the final minute of the season.
The home fans have unveiled a banner adorned with the words 'Oops!! We did it again!', and the party is well underway here now. This will be their second title in three years, and they have just about deserved it.
And now Toure is going to take his leave, but those Ivory Coast fans will be holding their breath regarding any possible injury. Negredo on for the final moments of the season.
Toure certainly isn't moving freely, with the midfielder looking to move the ball on quickly rather than run with it when he finds himself in possession.
Toure bulldozes himself into the box but is unable to bring the ball down. He then limps away holding his hamstring, and that will be a worry for Ivory Coast fans ahead of this summer's World Cup.
Allardyce makes his final change as Joe Cole replaces Diame. This is most likely to be his final appearance for his boyhood club with his contract up at the end of this season.
Liverpool would have been hoping for a comeback from West Ham akin to that of Crystal Palace earlier this week, but it has not come to pass. In truth they haven't looked like scoring.
GOOD SAVE! Almost a second for Nasri as the ball is played in behind for the Frenchman, and though he hits his shot well enough, it is too close to Adrian and the goalkeeper can push it away.
Pellegrini makes his second change, with Silva the man to go off. He is greeted with a standing ovation after his contribution this season, with Milner is on in his place.
West Ham are still plugging away but City have been strong in the tackle this afternoon, with the visitors barely having a sniff. Not what they, or Liverpool, required this afternoon.
This is turning into an exhibition now, with City just passing the ball around comfortably inside the West Ham half. Eventually Silva misplaces a pass, and the Irons can replace Carroll with Carlton Cole.
City make their first change as Dzeko, whose goals have been key in this City title run-in, is replaced by Fernandinho for the final 20 minutes.
It just hasn't been Carroll's day. As Downing whips a great ball to the back post from the right, Carroll finds space, but his first touch is poor and the ball dribbles out for a goal kick, much to the delight of the home fans.
HOW HAS HE MISSED?! City should be three up as Zabaleta pulls the ball back from the byline and Aguero has an open goal to tap into. Inexplicably, though, he only diverts the ball into Adrian's hands.
News from Anfield and Liverpool have turned it around, with Agger and Sturridge both finding the net. If it stays that way there, then West Ham would need to score three times to take the title away from City.
No dream final day for boyhood Liverpool fan Nolan as he is replaced by Jarvis for the final 26 minutes.
City come forward with the pace that we have become accustomed to, but this time they cannot find the net as Aguero heads Zabaleta's cross from the right wide of the post.
Yellow Card Martín Demichelis
Demichelis becomes the first City player to go into the book as he catches Downing in his follow through after originally winning the ball on the West Ham right.
Plenty of passing in midfield from both sides with little penetration as we approach the hour mark. Just in case you were wondering, Newcastle still lead at Anfield, not that it really matters that much now.
The Irons are enjoying their best period of the match, and Hart does well to punch the ball clear as Carroll waited unmarked at the back post with the ball coming in from the left.
JUST WIDE! West Ham finally create something as a Diame cross from the left is cleared to the edge of the box by Demichelis, but Taylor cannot catch his shot cleanly and it bobbles wide.
West Ham are continuing to put plenty of men behind the ball but City won't care now. This is their time to celebrate and showcase all their talents with their fans in full voice.
The home fans strike up a rendition of 'We're going to win the league' and few would argue with them. There are Poznans going on around the stadium and the party has well and truly started.
Goal Vincent Kompany
GOAL!!! CITY DOUBLE THEIR LEAD! And that could well be that. A Nasri corner isn't cleared by Carroll at the near post, and Kompany is on hand to turn the ball in from close range. The engravers can start putting City's name on the trophy now, you feel.
As with the first half, West Ham continue to play it long in search of Carroll but the striker has lacked the touch to hold the ball up effectively thus far.
West Ham kick-off and we are back underway at the Etihad...
The players are making their way back out onto the pitch for the final 45 minutes of the season. Will there be one final twist? The way the first half went you wouldn't think so, but you never know in the Premier League...
If West Ham are to spoil the party then the ball needs to get to Downing more often, as he is causing Kolarov problems and has the ability to provide balls into the box for Carroll. As it stands, though, it's City day. I'll be back in ten minutes to see if it stays that way.
And with that the whistle blows for half-time, and it's so far, so good for City. With Liverpool behind they wouldn't have had to win, but Nasri's goal has given them a cushion should the Reds turn things around at Anfield.
45' + 2'
OFF THE BAR! City almost double their lead with the final kick of the half as Silva turns and shoots inside the box, and Carroll does well to deflect the ball onto the crossbar.
45' + 1'
Just one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half as West Ham look for Carroll, but Kompany uses his strength to keep the England man away from the ball.
Quietly Tomkins is having a fine game and he has to be alert again to clear the danger as Zabaleta looked to get on the end of a Nasri cross at the near post.
Looking at the goal again, Adrian will be very disappointed with his part in it. He shouldn't have been beaten from that distance and having got a hand on it the ball shouldn't have nestled in the net.
All of a sudden West Ham look far from comfortable in defence as Tomkins just about heads a corner out for a throw-in. The home fans are in buoyant mood and why wouldn't they be?
Assist Yaya Touré
Goal Samir Nasri
GOAL!!! MANCHESTER CITY LEAD! And what a goal to break the deadlock! After some patient passing on the edge of the box, Nasri is allowed too much space by Nolan, and the Frenchman hits a shot from 20 yards that Adrian tips onto the inside of the post and into the net. Tension lifted at the Etihad.
With the sun now out, the game has entered something of a lull with the visitors starting to look a little more comfortable. But with Liverpool losing, it matters little at present in terms of the destination of the title.
Downing has been quiet in this first half, but he almost creates something as he leaves Kolarov behind on the City left. Just as the winger looks to cross, though, Demichelis gets across to make a good challenge.
Some great play from City on the edge of the box leads to Dzeko finding Silva with a reverse pass, but as the Spain international composes himself, Reid gets across to make a fine challenge and clear the danger for now.
Yellow Card Kevin Nolan
Finally West Ham put a ball into the box as McCartney whips in a cross from the left, but it is Nolan, not Carroll, that is the target. Hart does well to come and collect, with Nolan picking up a booking for colliding with the England goalkeeper.
O'Brien gives the ball away to Silva on the halfway line but City are unable to capitalise as Toure plays his pass just behind Nasri as he looked to break down the right.
West Ham continue to stay disciplined as the home side keep the ball around the edge of the box. Other than the odd Zabaleta run there has been little penetration though.
GOOD SAVE! City again go close as Kolarov strikes a vicious effort from 30 yards that Adrian does well to tip over the top. The Irons then clear the corner as their quest for a 15th Premier League clean sheet this season continues.
West Ham are certainly proving no pushovers, with every man other than Carroll back behind the ball when City bring it forward. Surely the hosts will find a way through eventually...
With the fans back in full voice, City have lifted the tempo and almost threaten Adrian's goal as Toure curls in a teasing cross that just evades everyone and bounces out for a goal kick.
News from Anfield, and it is great news for City fans with Martin Skrtel having put through his own net to give Newcastle the lead. As it stands, even a West Ham win wouldn't stop the hosts winning the title.
Aguero gets his first sight of goal as he picks the ball up 30 yards from goal. With no one closing down the Argentine decides to let fly, and despite slipping, the shot still needs to be watched carefully by Adrian who keeps hold of the wet ball well.
There are supporters with radios in the stands, but as yet no news from Anfield. With the home side threatening with their pacey attacks, all looks rosy for City at the moment.
Dzeko gets down the right-hand side to win a corner, but West Ham are able to clear their lines. City are temporarily down to ten men with Kompany changing his boots on the touchline.
More shouts for a penalty from City as Diame seemingly trips Zabaleta with the full-back looking to test Adrian after a pull-back from Nasri. Atkinson again waves away the protests.
The Hammers now bomb forward as Downing gets in behind Kolarov before holding up play on the edge of the box. Nolan eventually gets forward to support but the skipper blasts his shot high into the stands behind the goal.
OVER THE BAR! First opening for City as after Toure has a shot blocked, Zabaleta finds some room on the right to cross, but Silva's volley lacks control and flies over the crossbar. West Ham were stretched there.
Shouts for a penalty from the home fans as a cross from Dzeko strikes Noble on the hand. Referee Martin Atkinson deems it accidental and waves play on, and to be fair there were little complaints from the City players.
It's certainly an open game, with Allardyce not content to draw the match and give the City defence a relatively comfortable afternoon. At present, though, Kompany and Demichelis are yet to be tested.
West Ham have certainly come to play, with Nolan and Diame looking to support Carroll as much as they can from midfield. No chances of note as yet though.
City start well as some patient build-up play leads to Zabaleta getting to the byline, but his cross lands in the side netting at the near post. Toure is already looking to pull the strings from midfield.
City kick-off and we are underway on the final day of the Premier League season...
'Blue Moon' rings out around the Etihad as the home side prepare to kick-off...
There is a little rain in the air but the home fans isn't letting that dampen their mood as they go through a full repetoire of City songs. We are almost ready for the action to get going. Hold onto your hats!
A huge ovation for the two sides as they make their way out onto the pitch. Confetti rains down from the stands with the home fans already in celebratory mood. Tensions will certainly rise if the Hammers can keep the door shut for a lengthy period.
The two teams are in the tunnel and Vincent Kompany, the City skipper, looks incredibly focussed on the task in hand. They can't relax yet, though an early goal would certainly help settle any nerves.
There are now just under ten minutes until kick-off on the final day of the Premier League season, and their is a great atmosphere inside the Etihad today. Their fans know more than to expect an easy afternoon, but there is certainly a belief that it would take something special to deny them the title now. Having beaten the Irons 6-0 here in the Capital One Cup earlier in the campaign, they certainly have the upper hand in terms of recent results.
If West Ham are to cause a shock, then it may well be that man Carroll who takes the headlines. Signed for £35million by Liverpool in 2011, he failed to win over Brendan Rodgers and was shipped out to Upton Park just 30 months into his contract. Injuries have hampered his progress this season, but with more goals - five - against City in his career than any other side, he could finally become a Kop hero today. There will certainly be plenty on Merseyside pinning their hopes on the former Newcastle man today.
Allardyce too makes just one change as Joey O'Brien replaces Guy Demel, who misses out through illness. Former Liverpool pair Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing start with another former Red, Joe Cole, on the bench. Skipper Kevin Nolan is also a boyhood Liverpool supporter, so he'll certainly be out to spoil the party in Manchester this afternoon.
Pellegrini makes just one change to his City side as Sergio Aguero returns after the injury he picked up against Everton to partner Edin Dzeko up front. That duo have final day previous after 2012's dramatic win over QPR, but those inside the stadium will be hoping for an easier time today. James Milner drops to the bench while Aleksandar Kolarov keeps his place at left-back ahead of Gael Clichy
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Collins, Jarvis, J. Cole, Vaz Te, C. Cole.
West Ham: Adrian; O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney; Downing, Noble, Nolan, Diame, Taylor; Carroll.
Manchester City subs: Pantillimon, Lescott, Clichy, Fernandinho, Milner, Jovetic, Negredo.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Garcia; Nasri, Toure, Silva; Aguero, Dzeko.
Before we go any further, the two team line-ups are in ahead of kick-off in 20 minutes' time...
Having flirted with relegation earlier in the season, Sam Allardyce led his West Ham team away from the drop zone with some eye-catching results early in the New Year, and though he remains unpopular with some supporters, a finish of 12th place, which is where they currently sit, wouldn't be too disappointing given the injuries that have ravaged the Upton Park outfit. They have kept 14 clean sheets on their way to survival, though another today may prove slightly more tasking than those that have come previously.
Manuel Pellegrini's side haven't quite run away with the title as many expected them to do this season, but they have been able to put together runs of results at key times, and come into this match having won four on the spin. They have only been beaten once at home all campaign and brought up a century of league goals against Aston Villa last time out. Failure to win the Premier League now is almost unthinkable.
Before we go any further, let's go into a bit more detail regarding the permutations in the title race. City are two points ahead of Liverpool at the summit, and have a 13 goal advantage in terms of goal difference. If Liverpool win, then City need a draw and for the Reds not to beat Newcastle by 13 goals while a City win secures the trophy no matter what happens at Anfield. Anything less than a victory for Liverpool hands the silverware to City, even if West Ham upset the odds and win at the Etihad. Clear? Let's get going then...
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the crunch Premier League encounter between Manchester City and West Ham United. The home side require just a point, barring a miraculous result at Anfield, to be crowned champions, and after finding their mojo again, few would bet against them letting the trophy slip now. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through all the final day drama from the Etihad Stadium.
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