Full-time : West Ham 1 Manchester City 3

City too strong for the Hammers

West Ham remain bottom of the Premier League after they were blown away by Manchester City at Upton Park on Saturday.

Free-flowing City had too much attacking power and won the game thanks to a Yaya Toure thunderbolt, a Robert Green own goal and an Adam Johnson strike, before Zavon Hines scored a late consolation for the hosts.

West Ham made four changes from the side who lost at Sunderland, with Julien Faubert, Frederic Piquionne, Junior Stanislas and Pablo Barrera starting the game.

City had Italian Mario Balotelli leading the line with Jo and the highly influential David Silva on either flank.

Silva was sublime.The Spaniards’ movement and vision setting him apart from anyone else on the pitch and with Toure pushing on strongly from midfield, the visitors were dangerous going forward, while Nigel De Jong and Gareth Barry mopped up.

West Ham boss Avram Grant again went with the workmanlike combination of Scott Parker and Jonathan Spector in the centre of park, with wingers Barrera and Stanislas charged with supplying Piquionne and strike partner Victor Obinna.

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City were quicker to find their rhythm and should have taken an early lead when after four minutes Jo beat Faubert too easily, but his low cross was not converted by Mario Balotelli, who completely missed the ball after reacting quicker then a static Matthew Upson.

West Ham failed to have a meaningful shot on goal until the 23rd minute when Stanislas cut in from the right before testing City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who made a regulation save low to his right.

Yaya Toure went close after a storming run through the middle, but the powerful midfielder gave his side the lead after lashing home from the edge of the area after latching on to a mis-hit pass from Gareth Barry.

The Hammers almost went two behind after a Silva corner was headed towards goal powerfully from Balotelli, but his effort was cleared off the line by Barrera and although Victor Obinna and Parker both had half-decent efforts at goal, Hart was rarely troubled.

West Ham made a decent start to the second half as the Hammers used the man advantages they had out wide to good use, with plenty of crosses going into the box, but with few midfielders running into the area, chances failed to materialise.

Kieron Dyer was brought on for Junior Stanislas and the Hammers had a penalty appeal rightly turned down after Toure unknowingly handled in the area from a corner.

Seventy two minutes in and against the run of play City struck a second, as Toure raced past James Tomkins and hit the post with the shot rebounding off Robert Green and into the net.

The goal killed the game, zapping the enthusiasm from the Hammers side and the visitors made it three when a superb run and ball by Silva played in suvstitute Adam Johnson who rounded Green, before placing the ball into an empty net.

With the game over, Hammers scored a late consolation when a Piquionne corner was headed down by Tomkins and deflected into the net by Zavon Hines.

In Silva and Toure, City had creative players who could change a game at any moment, something West Ham are lacking and although a lot of talk has been about increasing Grant’s striking options, a creative midfielder should be top priority come January.

West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ben Haim, Barrera (Cole 71), Spector, Parker, Stanislas (Dyer 65), Piquionne, Obinna.

Subs: Stech, Reid, Dyer, Cole, Boa Morte, Kovac, Hines.

Attendance: 32,813

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