MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: A straightforward victory for City, pretty much from start to finish. The gap is closed again to just a point on United, while they extend their lead over Liverpool in fifth to seven points. A good weekend for Pellegrini’s side.
Downing booked for West Ham
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: The ball falls to Nolan from a free-kick and he tries to curl one in with his right from the edge of the area. But it’s high and wide.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: City counter and Toure picks out Dzeko 20 yards out. The substitute drives into the area but his shot is straight at Adrian.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: West Ham have a penalty shout after an apparent push on Reid in the box. The referee, however, waves it away
NINE minutes of added time at the Etihad
Goalscorer Aguero off and Dzeko on
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: The Hammers are not done yet! Navas plays a suicide blind pass across the pitch which is picked up by Nolan. The skipper drives through on Hart but his effort is poor and can’t beat the keeper.
Fernandinho on for Lampard
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Chance for West Ham! Valencia waltzes around Zabaleta down the left before getting into the box and trying to poke one in with the outside of his boot. But he gets the wrong type of connection and ends up hitting it across the face of goal.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Navas surges into the middle and has plenty of time to slide a ball through to Aguero, but the winger just overcooks it.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Toure gets into the box but fires over from a tight-ish angle
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Jarvis has looked fairly lively since coming on. Although it’s not exactly hard considering the performance of his team-mates for the most part of this game
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: West Ham have a chance!… of sorts. A cross comes in from Jarvis on the left and Downing has a chance to shoot from the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked by Mangala before it can cause any danger to Hart.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Toure drives forward and picks out Kolarov on the left. The full-back has plenty of time to pick out a cross but he still can’t find a team-mate
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Unsurprisingly the game has lost a little bit of momentum after that unexpected stoppage.
Nasri is on for Silva and we’re back underway. Let’s hope the Spaniard is okay.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: This does not look good for Silva at all. He hasn’t really moved and the Man City medical staff have come on with a stretcher. Nasri is warming up to take his place
Kouyate booked for a flicking an arm into the face of Silva. It may not have been intentional but we’ve seen players sent off for stuff like that. The little Spaniard is down clutching his face
West Ham make some changes. Song and Carlton Cole off, Nolan and Jarvis on. Song doesn’t look too bothered to be leaving the pitch.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Toure has a great chance to pick out Aguero, who makes an excellent darting run across his marker. But the midfielder waits slightly too long to pass and Aguero gets caught offside.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Silva has all the time in the world to drift into the box with the ball, look up, and hit one with his left. But there are plenty of West Ham players between him and the goal and it hits Reid six yards out
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: An hour gone at the Etihad and there’s only one team playing here. West Ham are not in this game at all.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: West Ham finally get forward and Jenkinson gets a chance to cross, but the Hammers strikers can’t get themselves back onside to receive it. Lazy.
Silva goes into the book for City
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: But not like that. Again City work it into West Ham’s area. It falls to Kolarov after good work from Silva but the left-back smashes it over from the angle
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: A third goal is surely coming soon.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Kolarov and Navas both have chances to cross in quick succession, but neither can pick out a man in the middle. The ball then drops to Aguero who controls and turns but scuffs his shot from six yards.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Dzeko is out warming up but Aguero is back on his feet and back out on the pitch. Great news for him, Pellegrini and my fantasy team.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: It’s not looking good for Aguero at the moment. He’s down receiving treatment after a collision following that chance…
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Aguero has a great chance to make it three! City have all the time in the world to play around City’s area. The Argentine finds Toure on the edge who plays it back to him courtesy of a Lampard dummy. Aguero then tries to toepoke it in but it’s saved.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Valencia and Downing switch flanks in the second-half as West Ham try to get themselves back into the game
We’re back underway at the Etihad. West Ham kick-off
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: A Collins own goal and Aguero give City a comfortable half-time lead
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Adrian receives a backpass and decides to show his skills rather than smash the ball clear. To be fair to him he does manage to turn the oncoming City forward and play a cool pass. But I remember him trying something similar at Southampton in February that ended up with him getting sent off…
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: The pace at which Yaya Toure was just allowed to stroll over and pick up the ball on halfway just then pretty much sums up West Ham’s display so far. No intensity whatsoever.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Navas has received plenty of criticism lately but he’s been excellent so far this afternoon. He has been given the freedom of the Etihad by the West Ham defence at times to be fair… but still
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: The Hammers really don’t fancy this one today. It’s a cliche but some of their players really do look like their heads are already on holiday.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: City have another great chance as Kolarov gets forward down the left before whipping one in. Collins nearly makes a hash of it before Reid just about gets it clear before any damage is done.
MAN CITY 2-0 WEST HAM: Superb counter-attacking goal for City. West Ham lose it in their own half and Aguero picks it up on halfway before driving at speed into the West Ham half. He plays the ball right to Navas who returns it to him in the area before the Argentine finishes past Adrian.
GOAL! AGUERO MAKES IT 2-0!
First booking of the afternoon given to Navas for a foul on Alex Song
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: Some neat interplay on the edge of the area between Aguero and Silva, the latter of whom can’t pick out Lampard in the area
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: Aguero picks Silva out with a cross from the right, but the Spaniard – not exactly known for his heading – fails to make proper contact with his effort and it goes wide
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: West Ham have woken up a little bit and Valencia tests Hart with a decent drive from 30 yards.
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: Demichelis sloppily loses the ball in his own half and Cole has a chance to surge through and get a shot away, but Hart is alert to the danger and gets out to the edge of his block superbly to close the angle.
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: Chance for City! Navas is picked out down the right by Fernando and he superbly volleys the ball back across goal into the path of Silva. The Spaniard manages to control it but is closed down well by Collins who partly makes up for his own goal with an excellent block.
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: Toure looks a far happier player today now than he did at Old Trafford last Sunday. He prefers to do his work around the opposition penalty area and that’s exactly where he’s parked himself for the opening 25.
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: Half chance there for West Ham. Downing has loads of space on the right for West Ham to pick out a cross but overhits it. It appeared that Cole and Valencia were offside anyway but no flag went up.
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: City have the Hammers pinned back in their own half at the moment.
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: Big Sam looking awfully glum as he chews away in the dugout
Predicted before the game that Collins might get sent off today… that wasn’t too much better to be fair!
MAN CITY 1-0 WEST HAM: That is really bad luck for Collins and West Ham. Adrian’s goal kick is poor and only Navas picks the ball up before charging forward. His cross isn’t the best and doesn’t beat Collins, but the Welsh defender gets his feet in a muddle and somehow manages to slice it over his own keeper from the edge of his area. Advantage City.
GOAL! 1-0 MAN CITY! COLLINS OWN GOAL!
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: That is close from Kolarov! The left-back whips in a free-kick from 25 yards with his left foot that just goes wide of the right-hand post. The referee gave a corner so it must have taken a slight deflection somewhere.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: But they choose to play it short rather than get it into the box. Big Sam won’t be pleased.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Valencia gets forward down the left for West Ham and Zabaleta is forced to concede a corner
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Again the Hammers lose it and Navas picks out Aguero in the box. The striker turns and fires on goal but it’s straight Adrian who smothers it comfortably.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Silva receives the ball on the edge after West Ham again lose possession in a precarious position. He gets it onto his favoured left foot but fires over. The Hammers need to wake up here.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Cresswell carelessly gives the ball away to Aguero in the Hammers half. But the Argentine can’t make the most of the opportunity presented to him
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: But it comes to nothing
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: City win a free-kick on the left-hand side of the area after Jenkinson brings down Navas…
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Zabaleta seems to have plenty of freedom to get forward down the right. He is penalised, slightly unfairly, for a tackle that looked okay to me.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Chance for City! A short corner is worked out to Demichelis on the edge of the area who picks out Silva in the box after he’d snuck in behind. The Spaniard brings it down but can’t quite get his shot away before he’s closed back down.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Pellegrini said pre-match that Lampard and Toure would be taking turns to support Aguero up front. The two midfielder seem to be dovetailing at the moment.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: Quiet, controlled start for Man City. Navas whips one in but Lampard can’t get on in the end of it.
MAN CITY 0-0 WEST HAM: And we’re off!
We’re just about underway at the Etihad. Man City preparing to kick-off…
Worth noting that Aguero can lay down a marker in the top goalscorer stakes this afternoon. He sits level on 19 with Kane, who plays later at Newcastle, and the currently-injured Costa.
The teams are in the tunnel. Yaya Toure is ready to lead City out in place of the injured Kompany.
West Ham have dropped eight points in the last 10 minutes of games this season. Only Aston Villa (10), QPR (9) and Hull (9) have let more slip.
15 minutes to go now until kick-off…
“It’s been an honour to work with him”, says Kevin Nolan of Big Sam. “You wonder why he gets the stick he does get”, adds Carl Jenkinson. The players seem to like him.
As they’re discussing right now on Sky Sports 1, West Ham were fourth in the Premier League table on Christmas Day, but a terrible run since has seen them slump well down. Still, though, they’ve improved on last season and you have to wonder if Allardyce gets more criticism than he deserves.
West Ham, meanwhile, can climb back above Stoke into ninth should they secure an surprise victory.
A win today for City will see them move just a point behind United in third after they lost 1-0 at Chelsea yesterday. Their title is gone but they have to make sure they don’t give Liverpool a sniff. Nicking third back and avoiding a Champions League play-off would be good as well.
“We need to respond in front of our fans” says Pellegrini, after the disappointment of last week’s result at Manchester United. Goes without saying really.
Roll With It by Oasis blares around the Etihad as City go through their final preparations. 30 minutes to kick-off…
Joe Hart, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today, is speaking quite frankly on Sky Sports 1 at the moment. He admits the season hasn’t been good enough, and that they’ve let the boss down. Good to see real honesty from the goalkeeper.
Fancy a flutter? Then head over to Sky Bet for a little wager on this one. My tip is James Collins to be sent off at 40/1. Aguero gets away from him and he pulls the Argentine down while through on goal… it’s easy to imagine!
The last time West Ham visited the Etihad, it was the final day of last season and Manchester City were crowned champions after a 2-0 win. Kompany and Nasri scored on the afternoon – neither are in the starting line-up today.
And they couldn’t ask for much better opposition than West Ham at the moment. The Hammers were in blistering form when the two sides met in October, winning 2-1 at Upton Park, but have fallen away badly in the second half of the season. Allardyce’s side have just a single win in their last 10 in the league.
Manchester City have suffered damaging back-to-back defeats at Crystal Palace and United. They return to the safe haven of the Etihad Stadium today in hopes of bolstering their place in the top four of the Premier League. They currently sit four points clear of Liverpool with six games to play.
For West Ham there is just a single change from the side that drew 1-1 at home to Stoke last week. Allardyce throws Carlton Cole into the mixer to replace Sakho.
Four changes then from Pellegrini after their 4-2 thumping at Old Trafford last Sunday. Mangala replaces the injured captain Kompany, while Kolarov, Fernando, and Lampard come in for Clichy, Fernandinho and Milner.
West Ham subs
Jaaskelainen, Nolan, Jarvis, Nene, O’Brien, Amalfitano, Burke
Man City subs
Caballero, Sagna, Boyata, Fernandinho, Nasri, Dzeko, Pozo
West Ham XI
Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Kouyate, Downing, Noble, Jenkinson, Collins, Cole, Song, Valencia
Man City XI
Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, Fernando, Navas, Yaya Toure, Lampard, Silva, Aguero
Team news to follow shortly…
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Manchester City v West Ham from the Etihad Stadium. The build-up will be underway on Sky Sports 1 from 12.30pm with kick-off at 1.30pm.