WEST HAM UTD 1 MAN CITY 3 – Who needs Harry Potter?

Manchester City at long last served up a perfectly palatable portion of away day success in a feast of  football, leaving  Big Fat Sam swallowing humble pie at its conclusion.

It may have been Allardyce’s birthday, but cake, candles, jelly and ice cream were never on offer.

For those who like to dine on the gastronomic delights of the Premier League menu this tasty dish went well beyond the old fashioned fayre of jellied eels and Lancashire hotpot.

One Direction - Going up! Pellegrini directs City with a new attacking flair

One Direction – Going up! Pellegrini directs City with a new attacking flair. Pic courtesy @MCFC

West Ham and City combined to cook up a gloriously satisfying spread at the Boleyn Ground, enjoyed by 34,507 invitees, plus a few million stay-at-home connoisseurs of the beautiful game.

City provided the champagne and caviar and the Hammers – to their eternal credit – the cava and cod roe, in a good-old fashioned meaty affair at the Upton Park diner.

A very conciliatory Sam Allardyce conceded that his team could not live with the ‘size, power & money…’ of City, whereas Manuel Pellegrini purred his team should always ‘play in an attacking way because of the players we have…’

Both sides emerged with credit from a hugely entertaining affair which City dominated for long periods, only managing to finally put the cookie jar out of West Ham’s reach with 10 minutes remaining.

Silva Strike - David finishes off the Hammers' Finnish keeper Jaaskelainen for 3-1Courtesy @MCFC

Silva Strike – David finishes off the Hammers’ Finnish keeper Jaaskelainen for 3-1
Pic courtesy @MCFC

David Silva’s exquisitely crafted 80th minute ‘winner’ eluded the grasp of the excellent Jaaskelainen, confirming  City’s first away win of the season after the Irons had made an unlikely battle of it with the Premier League title favourites.

City were in the ascendancy in the first half with some superb stuff but, come the break, only had a one goal advantage to show for their dominance. The spectre of Villa Park loomed large.

Super Sergio Aguero executed the goal in fine style in the 15th minute. It was what the legendary Brian Clough called ‘carpet football’ as the rapidly improving Fernandinho stroked a long range pass through the massed ranks of the West Ham midfield.

Surgical strike - Sergio Aguero opens City's account at Upton Park.Pic courtesy @MCFC

Surgical strike – Sergio Aguero opens City’s account at Upton Park.
Pic courtesy @MCFC

Aided by a fantastic feint of genius by Alvaro ‘The Beast’ Negredo, the ball travelled into Aguero’s path before he dispatched it with clinical precision past the Hammers’ keeper.

Three minutes later and another Sergio strike was snuffed out by the fine Finnish shot-stopper, following nice approach work by Negredo and Silva.

The three-pronged Argentine-Spanish axis is rapidly establishing itself as the platform for Pellegrini’s team – a platform promising more magic than the mystical Platform 9¾  at Kings Cross Station in the Harry Potter stories.

It begs the question, did author JK Rowling draw inspiration for her Hogwarts hero from the Wizard of Gran Canaria – David ‘Merlin’ Silva?  Anyway, enough of this hocus-pocus – back to the East End.

Magical Merlin - David Silva is in top form.Pic courtesy @MCFC

Magical Merlin – David Silva is in top form.
Pic courtesy @MCFC

Pellegrini had City’s 2,200 travelling support perplexed pre-kick off, when he revealed Javi Garcia at the centre of his defence in the absence of wounded skipper Vincent Kompany.

 Joleon Lescott was on the subs’ bench, despite a very accomplished showing against Everton.  The sage like City boss was ultimately proved right, as Garcia gave a good account of himself against an unconventional 1-4-6 West Ham tactical arrangement.

Lacking a recognised striker, West Ham, with the extraordinarily promising Ravel Morrison, were all movement and interchanging of personnel – a scenario to which Joleon was perhaps not best suited.

Towering performance - Micah for England...otherwise Woy's selection is rank!Pic courtesy @MCFC

Towering performance – Micah for England…otherwise Woy’s selection is rank!
Pic courtesy @MCFC

Micah Richards came in for his first PL start of the season and put in a powering display. A fully fit Micah is a mighty fine asset for both club and country – are you listening Woy?

Wichards for England, otherwise Woy’s wight back selection policy looks totally rank!

Missing Kompany, City’s defence tends to look vulnerable at set pieces and, if Andy Carroll had been fit to play, he could have caused City’s centre back pairing of Nastasic and Garcia problems.

Thankfully Vinny and Martin Demichelis should both be fit shortly to help City’s collective effort to retain its title as the meanest PL defence for a 4th consecutive year.

Pellegrini is prepared to trade some of City’s defensive thrift for attacking flair – not a bad thing – but screw compromise, let’s have the highest scoring and lowest conceding team in the PL please Manuel.

Cranium crasher - Sergio scores his first headed goal in the PL.Pic courtesy @MCFC

Cranium crasher – Sergio scores his first headed goal in the PL.
Pic courtesy @MCFC

Aguero notched a novelty in the 50th minute – his first headed Premier League goal…and what a goal it was.

Having won the free kick on the edge of the Hammers’ box, Sergio subsequently peeled away from his marker to have his cranium connect perfectly with Silva’s deftly flighted cross – 2-0.

Clearly outclassed, West Ham could have capitulated and allowed City to run riot – they did the exact opposite.  A surprisingly lively Stewart Downing, a determined Mohammad Diame and vociferous Ricardo Vaz Te started to cause problems, underpinned by the revelatory Ravel.

Vaz Te reduced the arrears – albeit with a hint of offside courtesy of Diame’s right leg – in the 57th minute – game on.

Negredo was a crossbar away from restoring City’s two goal buffer, hitting the underside of the bar with a great effort on the hour, after combining with – yes you guessed it –  Silva and Aguero.

Hand in hand - Pellegrini & Aguero are in form for City.Pic courtesy @MCFC

Hand in hand – Pellegrini & Aguero are in form for City.
Pic courtesy @MCFC

Pellegrini – perhaps mindful of his perceived failure to close the game out at Villa Park – put AK 47 Kolarov on for Negredo in the 65th minute. This was followed by Milner for Nasri as City gradually curbed the Irons’ new found fight.

Kolarov was twice thwarted by Jaaskelainen in the 68th minute, just 60 seconds after Aguero had been denied, what would have been a richly deserved hat-trick, by the flying Finn.

Just the beginning - could City's away win at West Ham be the catalyst for winning ways?Pic courtesy @MCFC

Just the beginning – could City’s away win at West Ham be the catalyst for winning ways?
Pic courtesy @MCFC

Having broken the away wins duck it would be wonderful if City can do it  thrice more and advance on three fronts – Champions League in Moscow, Premier League in West London and Capital One Cup beside the Tyne against the Toon.

It’s perhaps too much to ask that the West Ham win was just the hors d’oeuvre before what is yet to come, but it is nonetheless, a mouth-watering prospect.



 By David Walker  www.readbutneverred.com @djwskyblu


READ BUT NEVER RED HAS BEEN NOMINATED IN THE FOOTBALL BLOGGING AWARDS 2013 http://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/how-to-vote.php

If you would like to vote via twitter please tweet the following message:

I am voting in @TheFBAs for @djwskyblu as the Best #Male Football Blog

Seeking votes - if you want to vote for Read But Never Red in the Football Blogging Awards 2013 via Twitter please tweet: I am voting in @TheFBAs for Best #Male @djwskyblu
Seeking votes – if you want to vote for Read But Never Red in the Football Blogging Awards 2013 via Twitter please tweet: I am voting in @TheFBAs for Best #Male @djwskyblu

If not it is absolutely not a problem but thanks for reading all the same




Leave a Reply to David Walker Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

It's up to you now...Special Agent GB

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s cunning plan to finally see the sky blues snare six points from age old nemesis Everton, in a single season, swung into action late last[...]

The Pep Perspective

Are Manchester City fans of the glass ‘half empty’ or ‘half full’ persuasion? On May 13th, 2012 they were encouraged to ‘...drink it in’ at 93:20 showing on the clock, as Sergio[...]

City's Chappy chat is great pep talk for Philip

When you’re a lifelong Manchester City fan and you’re ‘feeling blue’ you either need a pep talk – or better still – a Chappy chat. With Pep Guardiola presiding over the club’s t[...]