FA Premier League
Saturday 27 April 2013, 12.45 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Y Toure, Silva (Milner 78), Nasri (K Toure 88), Tevez (Garcia 84), Aguero
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Nastasic, Dzeko
Goals: Aguero (28), Y Toure (83)
Referee: Howard Webb
Man of the Match: Carlos Tevez
Despite enjoying the early possession, City found it difficult to break through the two banks of four that had been set up by the West Ham defence. With eight minutes on the clock, Tevez had an effort from the edge of the box, but he probably didn’t catch it as well as he’d hoped and it dropped nicely for Jaaskelainen to collect. It was a stuttered start to the game and West Ham were defiant and stout in their defending.
With almost 20 minutes played, a corner from the left was cleared as far as Barry on the edge of the box. He brought it down on his chest, but was fouled before he could get a shot away. Advantage was played as it bounced to Silva, who smashed a left-footed effort through the crowded penalty area. It didn’t take a touch off anybody and finished just wide of the far post.
Tevez was next to miss an effort from the edge of the box, as some neat play from Nasri worked the ball through to the Argentine. He couldn’t get over the shot, though, and it dropped into the fans behind the goal. A minute later, his compatriot Aguero received a stroke of luck as a return ball from Silva towards Tevez was deflected to him unmarked in the box. He scuffed the effort, though, and it smacked into the post.
Just before the half hour, the goal that had been threatened finally arrived. One-touch build-up play from Toure, Silva and Nasri left the Frenchman free on the by-line to cross low into the box. Aguero had pulled off his man and received the pass, shooting through Jaaskelainen and into the back of the net. The blues were deservedly in front.
From the very next attack, it should have been two: Jaaskelainen spilled a Nasri shot from the edge of the box and Zabaleta was following up unmarked. It was a difficult effort on his left foot, but, as he prodded it towards goal, Jaaskelainen managed to nudge the ball behind for a corner.
The visitors came into the game more in the second half. They started the brighter, without really testing Hart, but still putting the home side under pressure. It was City who came up with the first real chance after the break, as Nasri scooped a wonderful lob to Tevez, but the striker’s volley was blocked as he tried to score against his old club.
Carroll couldn’t get a header from a deep cross on target, as he started to get into the game, before Tevez missed a brilliant chance to double City’s lead, as he tried to mimic Aguero’s opener and drop off his marker, but Jaaskelainen managed to block the shot. Nasri then conspired to miss a Tevez cross with an open goal in front of him, before Aguero was somehow foiled by Jaaskelainen after the goalkeeper had spilled the initial shot.
Seconds after West Ham let City off the hook – as a free ball in the penalty area was poked wide by Collins – the blues doubled their advantage in style. Yaya Toure picked the ball up on the right corner of the visitors’ area and cut inside onto his left foot. With a yard of space, he curled a shot right into the top far corner, leaving Jaaskelainen with no chance of keeping it out.
As the game entered stoppage time, there was a worry for City as Hart went down injured and the home side had used all three substitutes. Seemingly struggling, he carried on and managed to pull off another great save to keep Carroll out as he headed towards the bottom corner. However, with virtually the last kick of the game, the big striker smashed a shot straight at the City keeper, who missed his catch and it dropped through his legs into the net.
No doubt the back problem will have played a part, but nevertheless Hart will be disappointed in not claiming another clean sheet this season, especially that late in the game.