Monday, August 29

Sterling appreciates as Hammers lose at City

Manchester City 3 West Ham 1 

Watched this one at the Wellington at Waterloo with Fraser, Matt, Lisa and latterly Michael the Thespian, hotfoot from a matinee. Matt and Lisa have been looking at conceptual art at the Tate and are wondering if West Ham really exist while the City fans agree that we're not really here.

City should be three or four up at half-time as their tiki-taka stuff bypasses West Ham's five man defence. Playing three centre backs doesn't work as it just leaves more space for City's runners from midfield. We go a goal down early on as Nolito gets free of Antonio on the left and crosses for the unmarked Sterling to stroke home. City double their lead from a free kick as Fernandinho is left unmarked to head in. De Bruyne misses a gaping goal and Masuaku is lucky to avoid a second booking. West Ham's best effort in the first half results from Noble's through ball to Antonio and then Fletcher heading over from Tore's cross.

West Ham improve after the break as Byram comes on for Tore and Antonio plays further up the pitch. We unexpectedly pull a goal back as Masuaku does really well to beat his man and get in a cross and Antonio rises above Clichy at the back post to head home.WHU threaten to sneak an equaliser by forcing several corners and Aguero is very fortunate the ref doesn't spot his elbow into Reid's throat. But City always threaten on the break and seconds after Nasri hits the post Sterling produces a clever finish in added time to make it a deserved 3-1 to the impressive City. But at least we showed some spirit in the second half.

Last season we got a point at Chelsea and won at City, so minus Payet we've gone backwards in our first two away games, though Chelsea and City have both improved. Best news of the day is that Big Sam has called up Antonio to the England squad. A two-week break beckons and a chance to integrate Zazu and get some players back.

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