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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
October 19, 2013
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 34507
West Ham United
Ricardo Vaz Té 58'
S. Agüero 16', 51'
David Silva 80'
Anyway, that'll be all from me, Sam Wells, today. I hope you enjoyed the game as much as I did and, until next time, farewell!
Pellegrini, meanwhile, will be pleased with his side's performance. They survived the Hammer's strong spell after Aguero's second goal and, although he would've no doubt preferred a win at a canter, this victory not only illustrates the Citizen's class, but also their resolve and spirit. As he's no doubt already become accustomed to, Aguero put in another fantastic performance, capped by two goals and an assist which, coupled with Silva and Negredo's similarly sterling performances, provides City with confidence as they head into a potentially tricky week.
Sam Allardyce won't, you imagine, be too disillusioned by that defeat; they can't really have expected to claim any points here, in spite of their scalp at Spurs a couple of weekends ago. They can, meanwhile, draw positives from the fact that they made City work for their win, something that looked unlikely after the Citizen's opening goal. It'll be interesting to see whether Big Sam persists with the striker-less formation as they face weaker teams - he certainly has a lot to think about after this game.
90' + 4'
And the referee's whistle brings an end to proceedings here at Upton Park! West Ham fought valiantly but the Citizens proved too strong for them as goals from the outstanding Sergio Aguero and David Silva consign the home side to defeat.
90' + 3'
The Hammers continue to try to make something work in these late stages but, as Tomkins tries, and fails, to meet another delivery, it appears as though this game is done and dusted.
90' + 1'
West Ham work a nice move in the City area, eventually resulting in a shooting opportunity for Morrison on the edge of the area. He attempts to curl into the far corner but his effort flies well over the bar.
As four minutes of injury time are called, Milner fouls Petric, affording the Hammers an opportunity to launch a ball into the box. Rat does just that and Tomkins wins the delivery but can only head into Hart's grateful arms.
It simply appears a case of running down the clock now as City casually retain possession with West Ham clearly feeling the effects of a game that involved a significant amount of harrying.
Toure, seemingly under a significant amount of duress from Reid, lopes into the box before going down under said pressure. That looked a decent shout at first but, on second inspection, it appears as though the shirt-pulling was actually from the Ivorian, rather than the New Zealander.
Petric, just on for Nolan, attempts to get involved in the action but he can't quite retrieve Rat's pass and City have possession once more.
The Hammers launch a counter through Jarvis but the substitute finds himself surrounded by City players within seconds of getting the ball. The away side have not just shown their class today, they've shown some fight too.
West Ham earn a free kick in a dangerous position; they work it short and Downing delivers but it eventually comes to nothing. One senses that the home side are resigned to their fate now; they've put up a good fight but City, and Aguero and Silva in particular, have simply proved too good today.
Aguero is replaced by Jovetic, greeted by a suitably emphatic reception from the away support. He's been excellent today, playing a major part in all of the three goals and proving a constant thorn in the West Ham defence's proverbial side.
Assist Sergio Agüero
Goal David Silva
GOAL! It's David Silva and surely that is that! Another beautifully worked move ends in the Spaniard curling a ball into the far corner, after more sterling work from Aguero provided him with the ball on the edge of the area. The Argentine backheeled into his teammate's path, allowing Silva to do the rest and put Manchester City 3-1 up!
The Hammers continue to push for that elusive equaliser as we approach the final ten minutes of this contest. They are peppering crosses into the City area but the Citizens are coping adeptly with anything West Ham can throw at them.
Jarvis gets forward well down the left, exposing Garcia's lack of pace before cutting back inside and attempting to square to the oncoming Nolan. They aren't quite on the same wavelength, however, and Fernandinho duly steps in to avert any potential danger.
Downing, impressive in this second half, whips in another cross from the right wing but, alas, he gets too much on it and the delivery runs out for a goal kick.
Another seemingly defensive substitution as Nasri is replaced by the more pragmatic qualities of James Milner. If City concede a late equaliser here, Pellegrini's approach could come under some scrutiny from the supporters and media alike.
Manchester City, clearly keen to get a third and kill off this tie, have pushed forward in numbers but can't find a way through the two banks of West Ham. The Hammers have defended doggedly today and probably, on the whole of it, deserve to be in this game as we enter its final stages.
Nice work down the right wing culminates in a Downing cross, pulled back nicely to the penalty spot. Jarvis attempts to match Vaz Te's goal with a similarly acrobatic effort but he gets it slightly wrong and the chance goes begging.
Jarvis puts a good delivery into the area but, in a piece of play that could potentially serve as an indictment of West Ham's system, no striker is there to meet the cross. Will we be seeing Cole or Petric any time soon?
Kolarov meets a Silva delivery from a corner but he can't get enough on the header, allowing Jaaskelainen to claim with consummate ease.
Aguero goes close to getting his hat trick! After good interplay between the Argentine and Fernandinho, the striker attempts to curl it into the far corner but Jaaskelainen is equal to it, tipping the ball away adeptly.
Kolarov appears to be operating just in front of Clichy on the left wing as Aguero is now working as a lone striker. The change in shape appears to be doing little to placate the Hammers as Diame causes Hart some problems with a cross, forcing the goalkeeper to palm the ball away.
Downing, fairly lively in this second period, tries to work a crossing opportunity but Clichy sticks to him well, putting the ball out for a Hammers throw.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Subs all around as Kolarov replaces Negredo in what appears to be a defensive move from Pellegrini. Meanwhile, Jarvis replaces Vaz Te in what should be a like-for-like switch.
There is a brief interval in play as Demel goes down injured; the right back appears to be holding his groin and it transpires that he will play no further part in the action - Joey O'Brien comes on to replace him.
Yellow Card Gael Clichy
Downing is fouled by Clichy, allowing the winger to whip a free kick into the area. It's a dangerous delivery but Fernandinho intervenes, stepping in well before launching a counter attack.
This is frenetic stuff at Upton Park! The game has become increasingly stretched as the Hammers, seemingly buoyed by that goal, come forward in numbers, though Manchester City look typically dangerous on the counter. At the moment, and despite what this commentator said just minutes earlier, this could go either way!
Negredo is close to reinstating that two goal deficit as he rattles the crossbar! Aguero put his strike partner through and he thundered an effort goalwards from a tight angle, only to be denied by the crossbar.
Assist Ravel Morrison
Goal Ricardo Vaz Te
GOAL! And it's spectacular stuff from Ricardo Vaz Te! The Hammers capitalise on their spell of pressure as, after Downing manages to head Rat's cross back into the area, Morrison hooks the ball audaciously into the air. The winger, just onside, tries an extravagant overhead kick and it comes off, finding the far corner and putting West Ham within a goal's distance from City!
The Hammers almost get a goal back! Diame almost manages to make me eat my words as he inches away from dinking the ball over Hart after Downing put him one-on-one with the England goalkeeper. Their best chance of the game, no doubt about it!
The Hammers, as they would be inclined to do, persist regardless, putting City under pressure as they push forward in numbers. Downing surges infield from the right before his effort is deflected behind for a corner.
Honestly, it's difficult to envisage a Hammers comeback now. It was a thankless task at 1-0 but now, given their defensive set-up and City's ability to counter, there appears to be little hope for Sam Allardyce's men.
The game is halted for a brief period as the security remove an intruder from the pitch, allowing the Hammers to reflect on their part in that goal - how was Aguero left unmarked?
Assist David Silva
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! And it's Aguero's second! After the Argentine earned a free kick through some excellent work down the left, the ball is curled in by Silva and Aguero, somehow unmarked, leapt and headed home with aplomb. Jaaskelainen managed to get a hand to it but it wasn't enough - a truly excellent header and City are two goals to the good!
Noble works the free kick into the feet of Nolan, his midfield partner having foraged his way into the box. However, it turned out he began foraging slightly too early as he is called offside by the linesman.
Toure incites the ire of the home support as the powerhouse recklessly bodychecks Diame after the latter played a pass. The referee attempts to play an advantage but ends up calling it back for the initial foul after the chance comes to nothing.
The Hammers appear as though they're set up in the same system they adopted in the first period. And, as with the first 45 minutes, the game appears to be playing out in a similar fashion as City instantly assert themselves on the half with a nice spell of possession.
And we're underway in the second half at Upton Park! Manchester City kick off proceedings as they look to push on, perhaps building on that one-goal deficit they earned in the first half.
Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, will be buoyed by some of the football played by his team in that half, though, in a similar manner to his managerial counterpart, he will also be slightly dissatisfied with some aspects of his side's performance. After that beautifully worked opener, the Citizens looked to dominate, only for their dominance to wane somewhat as the half wore on. Though the Hammers have posed little actual threat, Pellegrini will want his side to dominate and he'll be keen to ensure that they don't become complacent going into the second period.
Sam Allardyce will be feeling mixed emotions as he conducts the half-time team talk in the dressing room; though they endured spells of City domination where the dual threat of Negredo and Aguero appeared simply too potent to deal with, they also enjoyed a decent amount of possession as the half wore on. Still, they haven't really looked as though they are going to score anytime soon - perhaps 'Big Sam' will look to introduce either Carlton Cole or Mladen Petric in the second period as the Hammers go in search of an equaliser.
45' + 2'
The referee's whistle brings an end to a lively first half at Upton Park! City go into the break 1-0 up, courtesy of a well-worked goal from Sergio Aguero, though it wasn't always easy running for the Citizens.
45' + 1'
It looks as though this half is set to peter out somewhat as City retain possession with a minute left on the clock; both sides will be reasonably happy with their contribution to the first half.
As two minutes injury time are called, Hart flaps at a corner and, perhaps generously, is given a free kick as Nolan is deemed to impede the City goalkeeper.
West Ham work the ensuing free kick well, earning a corner that Downing duly whips in. Clichy gets a flick on at the near post, almost allowing Tomkins to meet it at the far post, only for the centre back to prove unable to make contact.
Vaz Te is fouled on the wing as Richards slides in on the West Ham player, perhaps unnecessarily seeing as his contribution did little to prevent the cross from coming in.
Downing backtracks astutely to prevent Silva from picking up Toure's through ball, shepherding the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Toure forces a good save from Jaaskelainen! After some poor defensive work affords Silva possession in the Hammers half, the Spaniard finds his teammate just on the edge of the area. He attempts to find the far corner but his effort is too central and the West Ham goalkeeper duly tips behind for a corner.
An opportunity for Vaz Te! The winger is found by Downing in the six yard box but he can't get enough on his header as the pressure from Richards and Garcia proves too strong.
Negredo and Silva link up once more with the former this time proving the provider, crossing for his diminutive compatriot from the right wing. The Spaniard can't direct his header goalwards, however, and it's out for a goal kick.
Manchester City retain possession in defence before Hart tries to find the advanced Richards down the right. The right-back wins the header but can only flick the ball out of play for a West Ham throw.
West Ham are, temporarily at least, a man down as Vaz Te receives treatment on the sideline following his ankle injury.
The Hammers get forward once again but Vaz Te finds himself crowded out to the left of the area, before appearing to pick up some kind of knock, prompting a break in play.
West Ham attempt to work something down the left, once again through the advancing Rat as Tomkins tries to find the left back with a searching ball. It's just too strong though and it runs out for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Kevin Nolan
After City get forward through the dual threat of Nasri and Clichy down the left, the latter affords their opposition some respite after the Frenchman catches Morrison with a high boot.
The Hammers get forward well down the left as Rat whips a ball into the area, forcing Nastastic into an adept clearance. That is swiftly followed by Nolan picking up a contentious booking for a fairly hefty challenge on Silva, albeit one in which he appeared to get the ball.
City are slowly regaining their foothold on this tie as Negredo continues to cause Tomkins and Reid problems. The Spaniard robs the former before surging into the box and striking goalwards. The striker aims at the far post but he drags his effort wide of the goal.
That's better from City: the impressive Negredo receives yet another through ball from the similarly impressive Silva, before his cross is put behind by the sliding Demel.
Toure is fouled in the West Ham half, allowing City to regroup and regain their focus after a relatively difficult five minute spell. That spell looks set to continue after Clichy fails to gather a Nastasic pass, allowing it to run out for a Hammers throw.
Vaz Te, who airshot at the ball in that flurry of West Ham attacking intent minutes earlier, attempts an audacious finish after a ball drops over his head. He gets the speculative wrong, however, only succeeding in putting the ball out for a goal kick.
Yellow Card David Silva
The positive few minutes the home side are enjoying continues, albeit in a fairly unthreatening manner as the Hammers keep possession in their own half. They do eventually try to work the ball forward but Noble's attempted through ball is intercepted by Richards.
After that flurry of activity, Silva picks up a booking for a rash challenge on Rat. The Hammers work the free kick short to Morrison who strikes from distance, only to skew his effort well wide of the near post.
West Ham enjoy a rare positive spell as they whip balls into the box in quick succession. No-one is able to meet it, however, and the chance goes begging.
West Ham have every single man in their half as the Citizens retain possession, though their defensive formation appears to be doing little to deny City - they simply appear too good for the opposition at the moment.
West Ham are lucky to survive once again as Aguero causes them further problems with an excellent run, culminating in a strike on goal. The effort, in actual fact, is fairly tame but Jaaskelainen spills regardless, though Demel clears to avert any remaining danger.
Man City are definitely enjoying the better of the possession after Aguero's first goal, it's difficult to foresee the Hammers working a comeback with things as they are.
The Citizens continue to threaten in the aftermath of that opener as Richards wins the ball at a corner, flicking on with aplomb. Yaya Toure attempts to meet it but there's nothing doing and the chance goes begging.
City almost make it two and it's almost Aguero profiting from his strike-partner's sterling work once more. Negredo headed a through ball from Silva down to the striker, only for the Argentine to find the grateful arms of Jaaskelainen in the West Ham goal.
It'll be interesting to see how the Hammers respond to the opener. They've started quite well, that goal aside, but their formation doesn't appear to be tailormade for comebacks.
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL! And it's Sergio Aguero! The Argentine, mocked by the home support just minutes earlier, picks up a pass from Fernandinho after a lovely Negredo dummy baffles the West Ham backline. Predictably, the striker is clinical in his finish, putting the ball confidently beyond Jaaskelainen and, in the process, putting his side 1-0 up!
West Ham continue their impressive start courtesy of more impressive footwork from the hitherto bright Ravel Morrison. The ball is eventually worked to Diame on the left wing, who cuts inside and shoots from distance. His effort proves wanting though, sailing wide of the far post.
City forge a rare opportunity as Silva threads Negredo through the West Ham defence. The Spaniard elects not to shoot, instead trying to square to Aguero, only to find himself denied by the right boot of Demel.
As with Spurs a couple of weeks prior, the Citizens are struggling to find a way through the densely-packed West Ham ranks. Fernandinho attempts to do just that with a ball fired into the advancing Toure but it's too strong and the chance comes to nothing.
City haven't started this game particularly well; they have yet to really cause the home side any problems and aren't retaining possession with any real confidence.
Aguero seems to have incurred the wrath of the West Ham support in the early stages as a poor clearance from the backtracking Argentine is greeted with chants comparing him unfavourably to former Hammer Carlos Tevez.
West Ham, who have started in the ascendancy here, test Hart for the first time today as the England international is forced to come out and palm a cross away. Let's see if the Hammers can capitalise on this early pressure!
West Ham almost work something down the right wing, courtesy of a lovely backheel from Morrison. Clichy intervenes though, stepping in and clearing in timely fashion.
After the groans incurred by Rat's misplaced passes, the characteristically vocal Hammers fans manage a spirited cheer after Tomkins put in a full-blooded challenge on David Silva.
Rat, just a minute after giving away the possession cheaply, does exactly the same thing, this time lumping the ball out for a throw despite being under little pressure from the opposition.
After Rat gives away the ball in the City half, Richards leads a direct counter attack, surging into the area and crossing after a Reid slip allowed Negredo to thread him through. Noble slides in well though, and plays it off the Citizens right back for a goal kick.
With bubbles still blowing around the stadium, Negredo almost causes the Hammer's defence an early problem as his cross almost finds its way to Aguero, only for Reid to make a timely intervention.
West Ham get us underway! The Hammers kick off proceedings as they look to follow up their shock win against Tottenham with another scalp today.
The teams are coming out on the pitch now as we are minutes away from kick off at Upton Park!
West Ham, meanwhile, are unchanged from the side that unexpectedly triumphed against Tottenham, retaining their unorthodox system with no recognisable striker as Carlton Cole and Mladen Petric have to be content with warming the bench.
Micah Richards comes in to make his first start of the season, replacing Pablo Zabaleta at right back in a defence that is completely changed from the side that beat Everton 3-1 with Javi Garcia, Matija Nastastic and Gael Clichy also replacing Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and Aleksandar Kolarov. Going forward, there is just one change as Samir Nasri replaces James Milner on the wing.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Rat, Tomkins, Reid; Noble, Morrison, Diame, Vaz Te, Downing, Nolan. Subs: Adrian, Jarvis, Taylor, O'Brien, J Cole, C Cole, Petric.
Man City: Hart; Richards, Garcia, Nastasic, Clichy; Nasri, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva; Aguero, Negredo. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Dzeko, Jovetic.
And here come the team line-ups:
With those ties in prospect, the Man City boss will be keen to grab a win here in what appears to be an eminently winnable tie. Of course, they only need to ask Spurs to find out just how slippery the Hammers can be - let's see if Manchester City can fare better than their rivals this afternoon, it could be a cracker!
Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, has endured a turbulent start to life at Manchester City and will surely be looking to placate any doubters with a few comfortable wins in the coming weeks. That, however, will not be an easy task by any means; after a potentially tricky away excursion against CSKA Moscow in midweek, the Citizens face Chelsea next Sunday.
It looks as though, in Andy Carroll's continued absence, Allardyce may employ a similar system to that which worked wonders in their previous match - whether or not it pays dividends, only time will tell.
The international break came at an inopportune time for the Hammers; just prior to the break, they broke a poor run with a resounding 3-0 win against Tottenham and could've gathered some momentum had international fixtures not cropped up. As it is, Sam Allardyce's men find themselves attempting to pick up where they left off two weekends ago, looking to cause what would perhaps be an ever greater shock by trumping title contenders Manchester City.
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between West Ham and Manchester City, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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