Manchester City 3-1 West Ham United: Tevez Humble In Celebration Against Hammers
Manchester City recovered from their derby day defeat against Manchester United by convincingly beating West Ham United at the City of Manchester Stadium. The Citizens move up to fifth, three points adrift of table toppers United, but Mark Hughes’ men have a game advantage. Gianfranco Zola’s Irons, meanwhile, continue to loiter in the danger zone.
Carlos Tevez struck early on in the game, only to have his opener cancelled out by Carlton Cole. Martin Petrov restored the home side’s lead in the second half, before Tevez guaranteed the win with his second of the evening.
City’s dominance began at the opening whistle, in a game where they could have at least doubled the finishing scoreline, tireless Argentine forward announced himself with a close-range finish in just the fiurth minute. Zola will no doubt find fault with the static marking, as City employed a route one tactic.
Republic of Ireland international Shay Given launched a ball to Martin Petrov, deputising for Stephen Ireland who is sidelined due to illness, and the left-footed Bulgarian took the Hammers’ defence out of the equation with an accurate low cross that Tevez invitingly pounced on leaving Robert Green with no choice but to grudgingly pluck the ball out of his own net.
The former Manchester United ace was humble in his celebration, raising his hand with a noticeably absent smile on his face as if to apologise to the 900 West Ham fans who made the trip to Eastlands. It was not the away support who Tevez would need to say sorry most to, though, for he could – and perhaps should – have had a hat-trick within the opening quarter of an hour.
Pacey Welshman Craig Bellamy found Tevez from a corner five minutes later but the latter failed to strike cleanly and his effort fizzed wide of the marker. Then, in the 15th minute, the stocky striker blasted the ball over the bar from inside the penalty area.
Carlton Cole mustered a leveller nine minutes later as City failed to deal with summer signing Alessandro Diamanti’s free-kick, leaving the England hopeful with a predatory point-blank goal, helping guide home Radoslav Kovac’s effort.
Petrov ensured City walked into the dressing-room at half-time with their lead restored as he beat a poorly positioned Green from a dead-ball situation.
Mark Hughes’ men secured maximum points on the hour mark, as Carlos Tevez bagged himself a brace. West Ham again guilty of woeful marking as a Bellamy free-kick was floated into a trident of blue shirts. Tevez was the one who capitalised and his nodded goal made it three overall.
Paraguayan hitman Roque Santa Cruz, who has twice signed for Mark Hughes after the manager initially brought the striker to the Premier League in 2007 to former club Blackburn Rovers, came off the bench in the second half to mark his debut. The 28-year-old had a chance to make it more of a memorable bow but he failed to finish an incisive move created by the in-form Petrov.