FA Premier League
Saturday 19 October 2013, 17.30 KO
City: Hart, Richards, Garcia, Nastasic, Clichy, Nasri (Milner 74), Fernandinho, Toure (c), Silva, Aguero (Jovetic 82) Negredo (Kolarov 66)
Unused: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Dzeko
Goals: Aguero (16, 51), Silva (80)
Booked: Silva, Clichy
Referee: Michael Oliver
Man of the Match: Sergio Aguero
With a shaky away record, the Blues needed a confident start at Upton Park and that’s precisely what they got. A through ball by Fernandinho for Negredo was ignored completely by the striker and it allowed Aguero to latch on, clear for a one-on-one. He was well onside and just stroked to coolly past the on-rushing Jaaskelainen to open the scoring.
Three minutes later and – somehow – Aguero managed to miss a golden chance. A ball in from the left was flicked to the middle by Negredo, but cleared to the edge of the box. It landed nicely for the Argentine to volley, but with the entire goal to aim at, he hit it straight at the goalkeeper.
Soon, though, West Ham launched a response: A ball in from the left allowed Diame a chance to head, but it was cleared just in front of him, before Vaz Te missed the opportunity to shoot – instead taking an airshot as the ball bobbled through the box. Morrison had a pop from the edge of the area, but it was well wide.
A slack ball from Nasri sold Toure short and Diame was in quickly to steal possession. He crossed towards Vaz Te in the middle, but Garcia got up higher to flick the header away and it fell nicely for Hart. Similarly, Silva won possession at the other end, before squaring for Toure to shoot – Jaaskelainen pushed it behind.
City – who had been unable to get the second goal on their previous away trips this season and been punished – started the second half by doubling their lead. Aguero was felled on the left side of the box and, from the resulting free kick, Silva found the Argentine unmarked. He headed for the near post and, despite Jaaskelainen’s attempted intervention, it found the top corner superbly.
Hart, who had been under pressure in recent weeks following a series of mistakes, was right back on form to deny the Hammers a goal just before the hour mark. As Diame was put through, he was off his line quickly to dive at his feet.
But the pressure on the visitors didn’t ease soon. Morrison chipped the ball over his own head for Vaz Te, who was just onside, and the striker’s over-head kick gave Hart no chance as it nestled in the bottom corner. The home side were right back in the game.
Aguero had the chance to seal his hat-trick as he found a pocket of space inside the West Ham box, but his curling effort towards the far corner was well pushed away by Jaaskelainen. It had looked for a second like the striker had caught the goalkeeper out, but he produced a good save.
With the City fans bracing themselves for a tight finish, Silva eased the worries somewhat with ten minutes to play. Aguero was played through and instead of taking his difficult chance on for a hat-trick, he touched it back for the Spaniard. He set himself and bent it into the corner of the net to restore City’s two goal advantage.
It was enough to secure City’s first away win in the league this season.