A James Collins own goal and a Sergio Aguero in the first half helped Manchester City to pick a much needed three points from a crucial encounter at the Etihad Stadium against West Ham United. A win today secures Citya s fourth position in the league table and they now have a convincing point gap with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs who are chasing them for the fourth spot.
Manchester City were without their star defender and club captain Vincent Kompany. Gael Clichy too remained absent from the game owing to an injury. Eliaquim Mangala and Alexander Kolarov replaced the two regular defenders. Frank Lampard got a star today alongside David Silva and Jesus Navas in the attacking midfield position.
Manchester City had approached the game with an intention to only win. They attacked from the early hours and were desperate to score goals. The first goal came in the 18th minute from the foot of West Ham United defender James Collins. Jesus intercepted a weak goal kick in the half line and went forward down the right flank. He attempted a cross towards a forthcoming Sergio Aguero. In a bizarre manner, Collins tried to intercept the cross in between but his touch, unfortunately, was a bit powerful. The ball dipped into the goal as Adrian was turned into a mere spectator.
The Hammers reacted positively after conceding the goal and attacked in numbers in search of a vital equaliser. City defenders did a commendable job in that phase to stop the West Ham attackers.
The insurance goal in the 36th minute as Sergio Aguero completed a clinical finish from a well designed counter-attack. It was Agueroa s 20th Premier League goal in this season. Yaya Toure won a ball in the midfield and forwarded it to Sergio Aguero. The Argentine went ahead and combined well with Jesus Navas before finding the back of the net with superb ground. Yet again Adrian had no chance of stopping the shot.
Manchester City could found another goal in the 50th minute. Yaya Toure assisted a great pass towards Aguero who should have finished the ball easily but a last minute tackle from Carl Jenkinson stopped the Argentine from getting a brace.
Around the 70th-minute mark, David Silva received a knock on his cheekbone from opponent midfielder. The referee immediately flashed a yellow card towards the Senegalese midfielder. The injury looked serious as Silva was given medical attention for almost 10 minutes on the pitch. Samir Nasri replaced the Spaniard as he was taken off the field on a stretcher.
The match ended on a very exciting note as both the teams attacked equally and played end to end football. Enner Valencia showed some last minute brilliance by dribbling past both Fernando and Demichelis and attempted a curling shot, but it went wide.
It was satisfactory result for Manuel Pellegrinia s men who go seven points above Liverpool. The Chilean managera s only concern will be David Silvaa s injury. The knock looked serious and the Spaniard may miss few upcoming games. He was rushed to the hospital after the game and was given oxygen on the pitch.
Manuel Pellegrini although did not blame Kouyate for the clash. He said, a I always think that a player doesna t want to damage another player.
a The referee was so near and he decided he was unintentional. Nothing more happens.a