Hammers end City's perfect start
FA Premier League
Saturday 19 September 2015, 17.30 KO
City: Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala (Demichelis 46), Kolarov (Iheanacho 84), Fernandinho, Toure, Sterling (Bony 66), Navas, Aguero
Unused: Caballero, Maffeo, Fernando, Roberts
Goals: De Bruyne (45)
Referee: Robert Madley
Man of the match: De Bruyne
City's perfect start to the season came to an end on Saturday, as West Ham United recorded an impressive win at The Etihad Stadium. Buoyed by victories at Arsenal and Liverpool already this season, the Hammers raced into a two goal lead within half an hour, and clung on despite Kevin De Bruyne pulling a goal back for the Blues on the brink of half-time. City will feel that they had enough chances to merit at least a point, but Manuel Pellegrini will be concerned after successive home defeats in the space of five days.
The City manager was hindered by a lengthening injury list, and David Silva was forced to withdraw just before kick off, having felt pain in his calf during the warm-up. Jesus Navas stepped up from the bench, but endured a torrid afternoon; doubts persist about the Spanish winger's final ball and indecision in the final third.
The visitors took the lead after just six minutes, when Victor Moses drilled a low shot past Joe Hart from 20 yards. It was a fine strike, but Pellegrini will be disappointed that Moses wasn't closed down quicker. Sergio Aguero almost levelled minutes later, but the Argentinian striker has seemed strangely subdued of late and his tame effort floated harmlessly past the post with the goal gaping.
West Ham doubled their advantage on the half hour, after some shambolic defending from a corner allowed Diafra Sakho to prod home from close range. The visitors then took every opportunity to run the clock down, to the frustration of the home fans and players alike, before the impresssive Kevin De Bruyne reduced the deficit in first half injury time. The Belgian playmaker excelled on his full home debut, and his performance was one of the few positives on a disappointing day for the Blues. The prospect of De Bruyne and Silva linking up is a tantalising one for City fans.
Eliaquim Mangala was forced to withdraw at half time - City are now missing seven senior players through injury - and was replaced by Martin Demichelis. The Blues spent much of the second period camped in West Ham's half, but were unable to find an equaliser. Yaya Toure twice came close, but the Hammers held on to secure the points. It has been a frustrating week for Pellegrini, with two home defeats and a mounting injury list. With a Capital One Cup tie at Sunderland on Tuesday followed by a trip to White Hart Lane, there is little respite for the beleaguered Blues.