WEST HAM UNITED v MANCHESTER CITY
SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER 2013
REFEREE: MICHAEL OLIVER
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV
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Final score - West Ham United 1-3 Manchester City
95: Game over. West Ham had a go from 2-0 down and scored an eye-catching goal through Vaz Te, but City were too good. Their first goal was simple, the second maybe avoidable and the third sheer class. The Hammers fans applaud their team off and that shows that they appreciated the effort put in against the most expensively-assembled squad in the Barclays Premier League. Big Sam's birthday ends in a defeat, but an honourable one. We'll have reaction and more on West Ham TV and here on whufc.com soon.
94: A free-kick from halfway carries over Tomkins' head and out for a goal kick to City. Last chance of a consolation gone, the final whistle cannot be too far away now.
92: Downing's driven half-volley carries 40 yards to Jarvis, who skips past a challenge and finds Noble, whose curler clears the crossbar by a few feet.
90: We will be having four added minutes.
88: Noble is voted as West Ham's Man of the Match and that's a good shout. He has not stopped running and has put in a good shift at both ends of the pitch.
87: There is that resigned hush around the Boleyn Ground, to be honest. The belief that was there at 2-1 has evaporated. It's as if the energy has been sucked out of the place. Toure wants a penalty as he tussles with Reid, but the Kiwi was just too strong.
84: Morrison is still trying and he gets brought down by Fernandinho. That was always going to be the trouble if West Ham threw a few more bodies forward - that City would pick them off. Such is their quality that Aguero had enough space to find Silva, who has such quality and composure in the final-third. They are a good side when they finish chances like that, are CIty.
82: Manchester City make their final change. Aguero's work is done. Not bad - two goals and an assist. Stevan Jovetic is on. He's no bad player himself. Nolan is also replaced, with Mladen Petric on up front. No second debut for Carlton Cole today, then.
80: Goal! That's that.Silva settles matters as he wrong-foots Reid and curls his shot past Jaaskelainen with his left foot after being teed-up by Aguero. The through ball from Toure to Aguero wasn't bad, either. Too good.
78: Downing slides a pass for O'Brien, whose cross ricochets off a defender and out for a corner. It is dangerous to the far post and headed down into the six-yard box, but met by a City boot. West Ham win it back through Noble and Downing crosses, but the ball is headed away again.
77: Jarvis races into space behind Richards and cuts back before crossing low for Nolan, but the ball goes in front of the captain. City scramble it away.
76: Patient build-up from West Ham at the back before Nolan comes deep and finds O'Brien wide right. He passes to Downing, whose left-foot cross curls over the head of Nolan and out for a goal kick. Good ball into a dangerous area, even if it came to nothing.
74: Nasri is the man replaced. Milner played for England in mid-week, which just illustrates the strength in depth of City's squad.
72: Nice play between Downing and O'Brien before Jarvis crosses for Nolan, but he cannot direct the acrobatic effort on target. It's been so much more positive from West Ham since the break. James Milner will be on soon.
70: Noble is penalised for handball as he cuts out Toure's clearance. He cannot believe it, and rightly so, because the ball hit him in the stomach.
68: Some nice play from the Hammers ends with a cross-field ball from Downing which opens things up. Rat finds Diame, who spins inside the box but his cross is held by Hart. City break and Jasskelainen is tested twice in the space of 30 seconds by low shots. Both, he is equal to, first denying Aguero and and then Kolarov. City eventually win a corner. Kolarov wins the header from that too and Jaaskelainen holds on.
65: Demel hobbles off and O'Brien is on. A straight swap at right-back. Vaz Te is also replaced, with Jarvis on in his place. Finally, City bring on Kolarov for Negredo - a full-back for a striker. Defensive move from Pellegrini.
63: Downing gets away from Clichy and is pulled back by the Frenchman, who is booked. This is a proper game now. Downing's cross eludes Nolan and hits a defender. If it hadn't, that might have nestled in the far corner. Demel is injured. O'Brien being readied. It's a leg injury for the Ivorian.
62: City are finding spaces where there weren't any before the break and West Ham are having to throw bodies in the way of crosses and shots to survive at present. So far, they are doing so, but a stretched game will surely only have one winner?
61: Nolan loses out in midfield and Negredo gets in behind Reid before thumping a shot past Jaaskelainen that cannons off the underside of the crossbar and bounces to safety! Amazing action!
60: West Ham have been completely transformed since they went 2-0 down. It's as if the players thought 'Let's just have a go' and it's working.
58: GOAL! West Ham are back in it! Rat's cross is high and hanging and Downing challenges Clichy. The ball drops to Morrison, who cleverly flicks it over two City defenders and Vaz Te scores with a superb overhead kick. City are convinced he is offside, but the No12 wasn't, as replays clearly show. Fine officiating from the assistant.
56: West Ham working up a head of steam and it ends with Downing winning a corner when his shot hits Clichy. It's taken short but Morrison's cross is headed away. West Ham come again and Downing is involved again with a superb reverse pass for Diame. He is in, but Hart is out quickly and bravely dives at the midfielder's feet to save with both hands. Good goalkeeping.
55: What does Big Sam do? Does he twist and send on a couple of strikers? Or does he go for damage limitation and leave things as they are?
51: Goal! Where was the marking? Silva crosses left-footed from the free-kick and nobody is anywhere near Aguero as he rises and heads goalwards from level with the near post. Jaaskelainen cannot keep it out. It's another soft goal to concede. Vaz Te was marking the space on the near post, but he didn't react and nobody else went with the little No16. He can't score many headers, surely?
50: Aguero beats Reid but the New Zealand skipper gets back at him. Aguero goes down as Reid and Diame challenge and the free-kick is given. I'm not sure...
49: Frustration gets the better of Nolan as he catches Silva late. He's been booked, remember...
48: Diame wins the ball back on halfway and flies down the right touchline at high speed. He finds Downing, but is fouled. When Downing loses out, the whistle is blown for a free-kick. Noble lifts it into the near post for Nolan, who is flagged for offside. He doesn't like the decision, but it's the correct one.
46: We're underway again here under the floodlights.
Joe Hart gets a decent round of applause from the Bobby Moore Stand. He did, of course, help England to qualify for next summer's FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. City will kick-off the second half. No changes from either manager at the break.
Half-time score - West Ham United 0-1 Manchester City
A look back at the half-time statistics and West Ham have been out-shot six to five, with four on target from City and none from the Hammers. Possession-wise, City are bossing things with two-thirds of the ball. It's been a fairly clean game with just seven fouls committed in all, while each side has had a player booked - Silva and Nolan.
48: That's half-time. West Ham trail, but they're definitely not out of this. The pity is that City literally opened them up with one pass straight through the heart of the defence. Aguero was never going to miss once he knew he was onside.
46: Noble crosses and the whistle goes for a foul. I'm not sure who was penalised but it might have been Nolan for blocking Hart. We'll have two added minutes...
44: West Ham have a chance to deliver some quality into the box as Richards brings down Vaz Te as he crosses from the left near the corner flag. Noble will take it. The ball gets to the far post,, where Diame nods it back into the mixer and City concede a corner. Downing takes and Clichy can only head behind again.
42: Reid's clearance is a poor one and cut out by Silva. He feeds Toure, who forces Jaaskelainen into a flying save. Super stuff from the Finn as he palms the ball out for a corner. The set piece is cleared.
41: Half-a-chance for Vaz Te as Diame determinedly wins the ball back on the edge of the box after a dancing run from Morrison. Downing crosses and Vaz Te is crowded out as he tries to head in. Hart is able to collect.
40: Negredo pops up on the right-hand side of the penalty area this time, standing up Rat before crossing right-footed towards Silva. The little playmaker attempts a header from about 16 yards that skims well wide.
39: Vaz is back on. City have the ball.
37: Diame flies forward before finding Vaz Te. He plays the ball inside again for the Senegal captain, who tries to dribble between the City centre-backs. He is stopped, but Vaz Te is down injured so City put the ball out. The physio is on and the players take the opportunity to have a drink.
33: Decent counter-attack from West Ham as Diame and Downing are involved before Rat races forward into space and crosses first-time, but Nastasic makes a fine clearance at full-stretch. As the ball is cleared, Nolan appears to win a strong challenge on Silva cleanly but he is booked. I'm not sure that would even have been a foul a decade or two ago. He certainly appeared to win the ball.
32: A shooting chance falls to Negredo on the left side of the penalty area, but he drags it well wide.
31: City have a corner conceded on the slide by Demel. It is taken short and City try to work an opening from 25 yards out, but Tomkins is there to head clear. Nolan tries to spring Vaz away on the counter, but the No12 slips.
28: Another decent passage of play that sees West Ham move the ball from left to right before Downing crosses for Vaz. He tries to collect but is caught offside.
26: A decent move that sees Morrison almost tackle himself on the edge of the City box ends with Vaz Te's cross and a flashing header from Diame. Demel retrieves with a fine touch before his cross is headed out and Rat beats Silva to the loose ball. The Spaniard brings the Romanian down and is booked. The free-kick is taken short to Morrison, who drags his shot wide of the near post for a goal kick.
25: The City press officer sat near me says 'Sergio is having one of his days' and he is right. The Argentine looks very sharp indeed. That said, West Ham are still in this.
22: Aguero runs across the back four and eludes both centre-backs before shooting left-footed towards the base of the post. Jaaskelainen saves but cannot hold on. Reid gets there ahead of Silva to block and Demel smashes the ball out for a throw. The Hammers can't afford to concede again.
21: City are probing away and having almost all the possession at present. The forward players are making run after run to try and get in behind the back four, with the midfielders and full-backs joining in. It's all hands to the pump for the Hammers.
20: City are getting into the final third with ease at present and only a header from Tomkins prevents Negredo getting in behind again. The corner comes to nothing.
19: The challenge for West Ham is to now chase a game without a recognised forward. As it is, they could easily go 2-0 down as the ball drops to Aguero 14 yards out from Negredo's header and he strikes it straight at Jaaskelainen. A yard either side...
17: Morrison has a snap-shot from 20 yards but it flies wide of the target.
16: GOAL! Aguero puts City in front and it really couldn't have been any simpler. The through ball from Fernandinho is along the ground and straight between Tomkins and Reid, who may have been distracted by Negredo's presence. Anyway, Aguero ignores everything around him, takes a quick glance at the assistant and slots the ball inside the left-hand post.
15: Reid has to be at his strongest to make an absolutely vital interception, but it doesn't stop City for long...
14: Morrison shows his trickery with a couple of drag-backs before Noble finds Diame. He cuts inside and slashes a shot that fades wide from 25 yards. The crowd applaud the build-up play, which was incisive and had purpose.
13: For Pellegrini's men, Nasri is wide right for now, with Silva wide left and Aguero supporting Negredo. It is all so fluid in terms of positions and movement for City, though. Silva cuts inside and the through ball finds Negredo. He looks as if he'll get a shot away, but Demel gets a foot in and diverts the ball behind. Nolan volleys the corner clear at the near post and Vaz Te wins a foul on the far side.
11: City probe and pass patiently about 40 yards from goal, but there is no way through. Negredo runs offside as Toure flicks a through ball aimlessly out of play for a goal kick.
10: West Ham are playing with confidence so far, working hard to close City down and not allow them any space in the home half. As I type, Nolan closes down Hart and the England goalkeeper's clearance only just eludes the skipper.
8: Action at the other end as Hart has to punch a Vaz Te's cross clear under pressure from Morrison. West Ham then win a corner off Clichy. The delivery from the left is headed clear and Morrison cannot make anything of the follow-up outside the box, instead conceding a throw.
7: A West Ham attack breaks down and City break, despite Noble winning a challenge on halfway. Nasri cuts inside from an Aguero pass and tries to scoop a pass for Negredo. The Spaniard is onside, but his headed control is loose and Jaaskelainen can collect. Replays show he was just onside.
5: Tactically, West Ham are again lined up without a central striker. We'll see City have plenty of possession, but let's hope they cannot do anything with it. The Hammers will again hope to stifle the opposition and play on the break, as they did at Spurs. City attack again, but Morrison gets a foot in and Downing wins a goal kick off a City player.
3: Another City raid but this time of West Ham's own making as Rat gives the ball away. Negredo benefits as Reid slips on the wet surface and the Spaniard finds Toure. He shrugs off Nolan but Noble covers and makes a fine sliding challenge inside the box. The ball comes back off the City captain and goes behind for a goal kick. Good defensive work from the No16.
2: City have the first attack of any note and it's Negredo pulling wide right. He crosses low to the edge of the six-yard box, where Tomkins is there to clear for a throw on the near side.
5.30pm - The Hammers get us underway through Noble and Morrison.
5.29pm - Pre-match handshakes and photos completed, West Ham will kick-off shooting towards the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.
5.25pm - Here we go! The two teams emerge from the tunnel led by captains Nolan and Toure. The sky is blue with just a few clouds dotted around above us. The floodlights are on and the sun is starting to set over east London. Don't you just love a night-game under the lights here at the Boleyn? As the teams are read out for one last time, Carlton Cole's name gets a loud cheer on his return.
5.15pm - Ravel Morrison has been presented with the ScanPrint Player of the Month award for September. A worthy winner, if ever there was one! Rav bagged goals in the home defeat by Everton and Capital One Cup win over Cardiff here and generally caught the eye with his outstanding technique and composure. As the manager and many others have said, the challenge is now for Rav to keep his focus and concentrate on developing his game to an even higher level. Let's hope he does just that, because he is already some player.
4.50pm - For those of you who like celebrities, we have got a couple of A-listers here today! Hammer Russell Brand and City fanatic Noel Gallagher are sharing an Executive Box! I'd love to be a fly on the wall in there...
4.45pm - The team news is in and West Ham are unchanged from the 3-0 win at Spurs - unsurprisingly. Carlton Cole is among the substitures, while Modibo Maiga is the odd man out of the 19-man matchday squad. For Manchester City, captain Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov and Milner drop out of the starting XI. In comes Javi Garcia at centre-back, I assume, with Ricards and Clichy taking the full-back positions and Nasri coming into the midfield.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Rat, Tomkins, Reid, Noble, Morrison, Diame, Vaz Te, Downing, Nolan (c)
Subs: Adrian, Jarvis, Taylor, O'Brien, J.Cole, C.Cole, Petric
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Nastasic, Garcia, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure (c), Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Negredo
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Dzeko, Jovetic
Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for today's tea-time Barclays Premier League fixture between West Ham United and Manchester City.
It's been a dark and wet day in east London, but this game is set to brighten things up as the Hammers seek to continue their perfect record under the floodlights this season.
On his 59th birthday, Sam Allardyce has been plotting another upset following his team's stunning 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur a fortnight ago - chalking up a first home league win in three attempts in the process. City, meanwhile, are seeking their first away league win of the campaign after defeats at Cardiff City and Aston Villa and a draw at Stoke City.
West Ham return to home turf for the first time in nearly a month, having defeated Cardiff 3-2 in the Capital One Cup here on 24 September on their last engagement at the Boleyn.
Big Sam's cause will be aided by an outstanding defence which has conceded just five goals in seven league matches - three of them coming in a 3-2 home defeat by Everton on 21 September. West Ham have kept four clean sheets in seven matches and conceded just one goal from open play.
If they are to win, though, West Ham will likely have to improve on their recent form against the Citizens - one win in 12 matches. Also, the Hammers have scored more than once in a game against City just once in the last 19 meetings, a 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win at Eastlands in March 2006.
Meanwhile, City are the league's top scorers so far, racking up 17 goals in seven games thus far.
Team news-wise, Big Sam will be without James Collins, who suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with Wales in midweek. Andy Carroll (foot) and Alou Diarra (knee) are definitely out, while Jack Collison and Stephen Henderson are both on loan at Championship side AFC Bournemouth.
One player who is available for selection is England contract Carlton Cole, who has returned to the Club this week on a three-month contract,
For City, centre-backs Vincent Kompany (thigh) and Martin Demichelis (knee) haved been ruled out by Manuel Pellegrini, but Jack Rodwell is hopeful of being involved after making his return in a Development Squad game on Wednesday.
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