Sunday, 19th April 2015
It's more than four months since the Hammers last tasted defeat away from the Boleyn Ground, following today's reversal against Manchester City - who by their standards had been on an equally disappointing run prior to this afternoon.
However the hosts were barely made to sweat today as they breezed to victory against a Hammers team that had been harbouring hopes of repeating their unexpected 2-1 win over the Citizens in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season.
It took City just 18 minutes to open the scoring, having dominated the opening exchanges; James Collins, tremendous of late yet still prone to the odd notable error was left red-faced after his wickedly-sliced clearance from Navas' cross looped over a startled Adrian and off the underside of the crossbar.
They doubled their lead ten minutes ahead of the break after taking advantage of some more poor defending. West Ham were caught flat-footed as Man City broke with pace and urgency, and a one-two between Navas and Aguero ended us being passed beyond a closing Adrian into an empty net.
Shortly after City's second goal, the first anniversary of the death of Dylan Tombides was marked with a minute's applause on the 38th minute, his final squad number at the club. Sadly, there was to be little more for the travelling faithful to applaud.
Bombarded for the first half hour of the second half, the Hammers were somewhat fortunate to remain only two behind as the game approached its finals stages. However the match - extended for nine additional minutes following an injury to David Silva - ended with the Hammers enjoying as many chances as City.
Enner Valencia was inches away from halving the deficit when he danced around Martin Demichelis before firing across Joe Hart's goal; Kevin Nolan, lurking at the far post was inches away from being able to make contact.
Moments earlier the substitute found himself one-on-one with the England 'keeper after he intercepted a dreadful back pass, but the chance was snuffed out by Hart as Nolan shot straight at him.
You have to go back to 2 December 2014 to find West Ham's last win away and with trips to a resurgent Aston Villa and Newcastle - rarely a happy hunting ground - to come, the chance of seeing another this season, given the team's current form, appears to be slim (at best).
Match Facts: Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United
West Ham Utd: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins, Reid, Cresswell, Noble, Song (Jarvis 66), Kouyate, Downing Booked, Cole (Nolan 66), E Valencia.
Subs not used: Jaaskeläinen, , O'Brien, Amalfitano, Burke, Nene.
Booked: Kouyate (67), Downing (90).
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Kolarov, Lampard (Fernandinho 88), Fernando, Navas, Touré, Silva (Nasri 75), Agüero (Dzeko 91)
Subs not used: Sagna, Caballero, Boyata, Pozo.
Goals: Collins OG (18), Aguero (36).
Booked: Aguero (36), Silva (58).
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
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Adrian San Miguel del Castillo
It would not be right to say that we'd have lost were it not for... I'm sure Jussi would have done equally as well. But the man between the sticks has to stay alert through dullish periods, and do his job when the time comes. Adrian did. And he saved the penalty and so nearly got to the rebound. Dammit!
Had a lot of defending to do today, which he did well enough. That limited his chances to go forwards, though.
Had a fairly stiff test defensively today. He passed (especially with that cross, aha!), but not with flying colours. A few errors in amongst...
A good return to the side. A pity we shall lose him.
Whilst he did a decent job; with Reid, made Kane largely anonymous; I'm starting to get very cheesed off with his play-acting. First minute of stoppage time, Soldado's high boot catches JT on the... arm! The arm, James, the arm! But you start clutching your damn head again! Cut out the blatant cheating, you prize twit!
A couple of bad moments, giving away a soft, silly penalty particularly. Otherwise, a solid under-the-radar display today - a lot of good work, though little to catch the eye.
By not very much, Man of the Match. Energetic, committed, and wasn't that a lovely thumping header for the opener!
A little lucky not to be sent off. He looked decidedly miffed to be taken off, but I think it was the right decision - he was walking a knife edge by then. Decent but not outstanding.
No shirker, but definitely somewhat subdued when not at the point of the diamond.
Doesn't he run! I'm not one for stats much, but I'd be interested to see which of him and Sakho covers the most ground. Speaking of Sakho, Enner might be having a few words about the lack of a square ball for an easy tap in just before we did score our second...
As per Valencia, terrific work rate up front. A bit greedy with that chance on 58, but made up for it by sneaking in at the back stick a few minutes later.
(Replaced Noble) On for Noble on 66; off again 20 minutes later with what looked like a pulled hamstring. No effect on the game.
(Replaced Valencia) Came on, ran around for 20 minutes. Can't remember him doing anything notable.
(Replaced Cole) On when Cole had to be withdrawn with less than 10 minutes to play. No chance to make an impression.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Man of the Match: Cheikhou Kouyate.
West Ham United
Adrian San Miguel del Castillo, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, James Tomkins, Alex Song, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Stewart Downing, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho.
Goals: Aaron Cresswell 8 .
Booked: James Collins .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Subs not used: .
Goals: Rose (81), Kane (pen 90+6).
Sent Off: None sent off..