Sergio Aguero scored twice to help Manchester City banish their away troubles with a 3-1 win over West Ham United at Upton Park.
City have fell to defeats at Aston Villa and Cardiff City so far this season, but looked comfortable when they took a 2-0 lead through the Argentine’s double.
Ricardo Vaz Te pulled a goal back for the Hammers in the 58th minute but with ten minutes to go, David Silva sealed all three points with a tidy finish.
Before the game, City had won just one point from their first three away games this season while West Ham were coming into the match off the back of an impressive 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Unsurprisingly, Sam Allardyce named an unchanged line-up from that game, with all eyes on Ravel Morrison after his impressive performance against Spurs.
City made a bright start and silenced a lively East London crowd with the opening goal in the 16th minute. Yaya Toure’s pass was expertly dummied by Alvaro Negredo and the ball fell through for Aguero from ten yards. The former Atletico Madrid man rifled past Jussi Jaaskelainen with his left foot, leaving the Icelandic goalkeeper with no chance.
Aguero should have had a quick-fire second, but wasted a great opportunity just three minutes later. Silva picked out Negredo with a chipped pass and he nodded the ball down for Aguero to volley at goal, but he aimed his effort straight at Jaaskelainen from 12 yards out.
The away side were dominating proceedings and they were helped by some poor West Ham defending. Jaaskelainen couldn’t hold on to Aguero’s simple shot, but luckily for him, the ball broke for Guy Demel to clear before Negredo could knock in a second.
Another defensive mistake went unpunished in the 32nd minute and it was another chance gone for Negredo. James Tomkins was caught on the ball and it allowed the Spanish striker to race through into the penalty area, but he pulled his shot wide from a tight angle.
Despite Toure forcing Jaaskelainen into a good save just before half-time, City kicked off the second half with only a one goal lead but that would only last for six minutes. Silva’s free-kick was headed in from eight yards by Aguero, who was allowed to be completely unmarked by the Hammers defence. The space that Aguero was afforded would have had Allardyce furious on the bench.
The goal seemed to kick-start West Ham into gear and they nearly pulled a goal back in the 57th minute. Gary O’Neil did well to slip the ball through for Mohammed Diame’s run, but Joe Hart was out quick to smother at the midfielder’s feet. Hart stood no chance under a minute later though as West Ham did halve the deficit.
Stewart Downing climbed highest to head a cross down and Morrison delivered a deft flick that was only bettered by Vaz Te’s acrobatic bicycle kick that sent the ball hurtling into the bottom corner. It was a super goal from the striker and West Ham had a slight bit of hope, but they failed to take advantage of their momentum.
In fact, it was City who would kill the game with a professional attitude and a third goal with ten minutes to go. Aguero collected Toure’s tidy pass and delivered a brilliant back-heel for Silva, and Jaaskelainen was nowhere near the Spaniard’s curling effort as it nestled into the bottom corner.
The result means the Manchester side have now won 29 of the 31 Premier League matches in which Aguero has scored, with the other two ending in draws.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)