Sunday, October 26

We're not really here!

West Ham 2 Manchester City 1

Have to watch this one in the Famous Cock Tavern in Upper Street as I’m supporting Her Indoors at her Islington Faces blog roadshow at the King’s Head Theatre at 3pm. Still, it’s not as if I’ll miss an epic win or anything… and there is a Pearly King coming. The coffee and Doombar are good in the Cock, though Michael Owen’s summarising makes Phil Neville sound as animated as Russell Brand.

City come at us for the first ten minutes and Silva fires a free kick just over. But West Ham start to impose themselves in midfield through Noble, Amalfitano and the excellent Song. A straight free kick sees Sakho win a header and Valencia fire into the onrushing Hart, who is winded making the save.

Incredibly, we score after 21 minutes. Song dissects the defence with a superb through ball. Valencia outspeeds Mangala and crosses behind a defender for Amalfitano to tap home. Amalfitano (who’s been booked already) leaps into the Bobby Moore stand followed by Sakho. We’re not really here!

Dzeko flicks just over from a City corner, but West Ham continue to really test the City defence. Sakho crosses, a City defender heads it across the box and Downing heads over when he probably should have got it on target. Just before the break Adrian saves with his feet from Aguero and we go in 1-0 up.

Predictably City come at West Ham at the start of the second half, though Kompany is lucky to escape a second yellow for a push on Valencia. We almost score a second when Song performs a rabona (I could only do a Ribena in my playing days) and Downing volleys wide.

Collins makes a brilliant block from Aguero after Adrian’s save. Throughout the second half Winston Reid proves he’s one of the best defenders in the Premier League. One tackle is almost Moore-esque and we need to get him to sign an improved contract now.

West Ham have some luck as Toure powers through, Aguero strikes the bar and Adrian makes a fine reaction stop to deny Toure from the rebound.

It’s a great game. Sakho chips over after a fine WHU move and then Toure curls a shot on to the bar for City.

On 75 minutes Cresswell plays in a fantastic cross and Sakho outjumps the defence to power in a header. Hart scoops it away but as the TV cameras prove, it’s a foot over the line. Diafra runs to the Chicken Run and performs a silly dance. Blimey. Six in six games for the bargain striker.

We can’t get too excited though, as two minutes later Silva waltzes around three defenders to curl in a superb goal. Two-one up against the Champions with 13 minutes left —what could possibly go wrong?

Valencia is replaced by Cole while Kouyate has reinforced the midfield as we try to hold out. Bubbles rings around the ground as if it’s the 1970s. I nervously sip at my pint of Doombar. Jovetic produces a fine tip over from Adrian. Lisa sends a text saying simply “Aaaargh!” during added time. Sakho has to go off with a shoulder injury which is a worry and Nolan replaces him. There’s five minutes of added time.  Jenkinson relieves the pressure with one last run into the City box and the whistle blows. Fantastic result!

“Hell of a performance that. So different from last season,” texts Matt. “Rubbish game, you didn’t miss much… apart from our best performance for years!” texts Nigel, helpfully. Fraser is (possibly) suggesting that he never doubted Big Sam and smoking a victory cigar. Sixteen bloody points! We’re forth!

There’s still time for Russell Brand to kiss Big Sam in the TV interview room, though Sam should perhaps remember the example of Katy Perry and not be seduced by the Grays lothario. What a day. Six-nil away at City seems a long time ago now.

PLAYER RATINGS: Adrian 8; Jenkinson 7, Collins 7, Reid 8, Cresswell 7; Amalfitano 7 (Kouyate 6), Noble 7, Song 9, Downing 7; Sakho 8 (Nolan 5), Valencia 8 (Cole 6).


mj said...

Great team performance the Alpari and everwhere else,was rocking. My only worries until Saturday are Sakho's injury and Reid's contract.

Pete May said...

Agree MJ, looks like Sakho out though presume we will bring in Kouyate at Stoke..