Sunday, 20 October 2013

West Ham United 1 - 3 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey 

My thoughts

Let’s be honest; our hearts were in our mouths just moments prior to kick off. West Ham’s spectacular 3-0 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur a fortnight ago married with our repugnant away form so far this season promised only more despair for Manuel Pellegrini’s title chasers.

Those were the typical thoughts of a pessimistic City fan who knew that his beloved blues could beat, and also lose to any team in the Premier League. However, class (not money) shone through and we stylishly placed the Hammers back in the toolbox.

For me, there were three stand out performers, two of which have undergone some unfair criticism this season. Firstly, Sergio Agüero looks to be back to his brilliant best and seems to have put his parasitical injury trouble behind him. Six league goals already this campaign pays testament to his natural finishing ability and his second of the game shows he has no trouble heading the ball either!

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Fernandinho also gave a top performance. The Brazilian has been criticised for his relaxed approach to the game by many City fans, but I can honestly say I’ve been a fan ever since the former Shakhtar man arrived. Without him, Yaya Touré would have struggled to shine in earlier games this season and the Brazilian controlled the midfield yesterday evening. His assist for Agüero's first goal was nothing shy of brilliant and although Álvaro Negredo will be receiving plaudits for his intelligent dummy, the vision Ferna showed to play in the Argentine was classy. Give him time, and he’ll continue to shine.

The final stand out performer for me was Javi Garcia. The Spaniard has been unfairly treated since his arrival at City, not by the club, but by the fans who claim to support the players through thick and thin. Playing out of position is never an easy task and although Garcia has looked shaky in central defence before, he was comfortable and sturdy against West Ham yesterday. The Hammers could have made the game a lot tighter if it wasn’t for a number of exceptional interceptions from the Spaniard and he was undoubtedly our best defender last night.

The 3-1 win was the first of four consecutive away games for the Blues and the three points were critical, especially with the CSKA Moscow and Chelsea fixtures approaching rapidly. Arsenal may be sitting on the top of the table, but our strength in depth should power through. We’re marching up the table and I believe next Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge will provide a real indicator of how strong City’s title chances are.

Player ratings

HART: His confidence is returning and an excellent stop to deny Diame will only inflate it more.

TSBV rating: 7/10

RICHARDS: Got forward as he always does but his physicality often makes him look clumsy.

TSBV rating: 7/10

He was slated before he even put on the shirt, but in actual fact, Garcia was City's best defender of the day with a number of vital interceptions.

TSBV rating: 7/10

NASTASIC: Relatively untroubled and seemed to play the game with confidence.

TSBV rating: 7/10

CLICHY: His touch was off and composure was lacking but he dealt with Downing relatively well.

TSBV rating: 6/10

FERNANDINHO: Controlled the midfield as Yaya quietened. An exquisite ball into Agüero secured City's opener and his class was on show throughout the 90 minutes.

TSBV rating: 8/10

YAYA TOURE: Fairly quiet but was unlucky not to score with a powerful left footed shot.

TSBV rating: 6/10

NASRI: Unfortunately, Silva's return to the team may dim Nasri's sparkle. A few flashes of creativity
but all the work was left to 'Merlin.'

TSBV rating: 6/10

SILVA: At the helm of all of City's creative play. Assisted Agüero for his second and curled in a lovely finish to ensure the win.

TSBV rating: 8/10

NEGREDO: His intelligent dummy allowed Agüero to net City's opener and his physical presence gave West Ham's back line problems all game. Hit the bar with a tasty effort.

TSBV rating: 7/10

AGUERO: Two more to add to the impressive league tally. Two goals and an assist. MOTM by a distance.

TSBV rating: 9/10


KOLAROV: Added width on the left hand side but it was an unusual substitution with Clichy already at left back.

TSBV rating: 6/10

MILNER: Tireless cameo from the England international who played a key role in the build up to City's third goal.

TSBV rating: 7/10

JOVETIC: No time to make a mark.

No rating

Note: All pictures above from MCFC Official Facebook page

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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