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West Ham 0 City 1

Finally we manage to put back to back victories together, and surprisingly (given the form this season) we do it in successive away games at places where conceivably we could have faced defeat and been dragged into an unwanted relegation battle.

Again, a 1-0 was sufficient to take three points and from the highlights it looked a similar encounter to the Boxing Day clash at Sheffield United where neither side really looked convincing or grab the game by the scruff of the neck to earn the points. But, a neat piece of football was good enough to get the goal and the points and whilst last time it was Stephen Ireland, this time around it was DeMarcus Beasley - beset by injury problems this season, who jinked through a couple of defenders before neatly slotting home.

Whilst much was made of our home form earlier in the season, perhaps playing away from home with the new formation suits us even more, as it allows us to sit back a little and pass the onus onto the home side to come at us to try and take the points, which allows us to be more patient and catch sides on the break.

Player wise, Corradi was again withdrawn for Samaras and Jordan didn't look entirely comfortable in a more advanced role. Defensively, by and large we were solid once again with Dunne and Distin seemingly having gotten rid of the errors which they have prone to in recent games.

Worryingly though, there was a piece in the Independent (sorry no link) which put us second bottom in the 2006 calendar year table (only Charlton have a worse record) so although we have climbed clear of the sides in trouble we are far from out of the woods yet.

Reaction:

"It's game on now. We have had two glorious opportunities to
push ourselves out of it and not taken them. City have accepted two glorious
opportunities in the last two games and they now see themselves in mid-table. So
that is what we have got to be looking at. It can turn around but you have got
to pick points up".
- Alan Curbishley.


"We were disappointed with the home game at Bolton,
we've regrouped in crucial games against Sheffield United and here today.
They've responded well.
"They've been in a tough battle, but we've come out
on top and we've nicked a goal.
"I've got to compliment the team because
they've got a win at a tough place."
- Stuart Pearce.


Match reports:
The Independent