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Post Match Thoughts: West Ham 2 - 1 City

Ian Walton

With the first half beginning as brightly as it did for City it was unfortunate to concede the first goal of the match, but West Ham deserved it. From the first whistle, West Ham made it known how they were going to play the game; physical and with lots of pressure on our playmakers so we couldn’t pick apart their defense as we have done in the past. After the first 10-to-15 minutes, West Ham began to see the rewards for their pressure as a couple of close calls could have been goals for the Hammers. West Ham got their goal in the 21st minute following a beautifully weighted pass by Alex Song that found the run of Enner Valencia, beating Mangala to the touch line and sent a ball a cross the face of goal. The ball evaded the kick of Zabaleta and was tapped in by Morgan Amalfitano to make it 1-0. Going in to the dressing room, City needed to prove that there was no ill effects of that draw in Russia midweek.

The second half was a much more lively affair as West Ham wanted to grab a second goal and City looking to bring the two sides level and show their strength. It was back and forth for the most part and in the 59th minute, when Jovetic came on, City started to throw their influence on the game with a multitude of chances for the goal scoring machine Aguero. Unfortunately the crossbar played a huge role on our chances in the second half as Aguero and Yaya hit with pace on two great opportunities. As the game started to look as if City would at least bring the teams level, West Ham doubled their lead on a header from Diafra Sakho in the 75th minute leaving a short amount of time and little hope for City to get  point out of the game. Sahko beat Clichy in an aerial battle and headed the ball into the lower right corner just sneaking beyond the line for a goal. The one time I wish goal line technology was not around just yet!

City got one back in the 77th minute from a beautiful piece of individual effort from Silva who curled a lovely shot from just inside the box and into the back of the net. City fought to bring the teams level but weren’t able to beat the West Ham defense and Adrian for a second time, giving the Hammers another well deserved win against a top side.

After giving up a two goal lead on Tuesday against CSKA Moscow in CL play, I was hoping for a bit more from the boys today to show that the loss didn’t effect them, but their was still a bit of a hangover. It wasn’t until mid second half that we saw the City we had hoped to see all game, taking the game to the opponent and creating great chances around the box. The introduction of Jovetic, in my opinion, was a bit overdue because his skills on the ball were perfect for what City needed to give them a boost.

Big week coming up, starting with a cup game against Newcastle midweek and the derby on Sunday. Gotta leave this week behind and move on.

Aguero (6) - After two games with goals, it just seemed he was going to be unable to find the back of the net with the second half being where he showed his brightest.

Dzeko (4) - Just not his day, the pressure and physicality from the West Ham midfield and defense frustrated him all game. He couldn’t get any space and when he got the ball to feet it was quickly given away.

Silva (7) - Easy pick for me as man of the match with his performance today, always threatening and trying to create chance for Aguero and Co. His goal in the second half was just another bit of class from a man who oozy’s it every game.

Navas (5) - His speed is such an asset when getting at an opponents defense, but, for me, he needs to do more in the final third than win countless amounts of corners, which are good, but could be better.

Fernando (6) - All over the field today making stops in the midfield and defensive areas. His physical presence wasn't as much of as a factor as it usually is, but he still kept the West Ham attack on their toes.

Yaya (6) - Starting to look more and more like the Yaya we know and love. In the second half he was allowed to push forward more frequently and was quite the difference maker, along with Jovetic, in the second half.

Zabaleta (5) - Not his best today, going for tackles and getting beaten a few times. Unfortunate not to get a foot on the first goal and subsequently tripped Hart up as he went for the save.

Mangala (5) - He still needs to get use to the pace, physicality and skill of the Premier League and the injuries he has suffered didn’t help him adjust to those elements for the PL. As the second half wore on he showed his skill as a defender and a positive sign for City fans.

Kompany (5) - Although I love his aggressive stopping of breaks by the opponent, those tackles, or missed tackles, can put our defense in a hole and not to mention get our captain a yellow card. He is too important to be getting suspended for too many yellow cards right now.

Clichy (4) - Very, very poor defensive effort from Gael today, getting made look silly at times by the attacking force of West Ham. He isn’t the tallest figure and he was beaten a few times in the air, most importantly for West Ham’s second goal.

Hart (6) - The scoreboard may not show his efforts today, but he was decisive and confident, just what we need on a consistent basis from Joe.

Jovetic (6) - His introduction into the game for Dzeko was overdue and injected life into the City attack. Immediately after he came on, City took it to West Ham and almost brought the two sides level. His skill on the ball was definitely a better fit than that of Dzeko.