Date:Sunday March 1 2009
If anyone believed Man City had finally got their act together after a draw at Liverpool and their win in midweek, only had to watch this game to realise that City were still no closer to bringing that crucial stability which the fans and I`m sure the owners urge.
Cole was at the centre of the action in the opening exchanges. The Englishman was causing havoc, chasing everything down and he had a half chance when Ilunga`s cross evaded him by inches. Bellamy who was returning to West Ham for the first time since moving to Manchester City was also very lively. The crowd made Bellamy`s job as uncomfortable as they could, but it didn`t stop Bellamy producing some rather good skill whenever he had the ball.
City then should have taken the lead with two easy chances. Firstly Kompany`s volley was intercepted by Robinho who beat the offside but forced a great save from Green. Robinho then had City`s next chance and what a miss it was. Great work from Bellamy who found Caicedo who was brought on after Richards was forced off with an injury. From there the ball found its way to Robinho who was free, with only the keeper to beat, but he side-footed his chance wide. Awful! £32 million pounds? Based on the misses in this and the Copenhagen game, he`s not worth half that.
However since the substitution, City didn`t look as confident and West Ham began to build more pressure and assurance as time passed. Di Michele forced two good saves out of Given before Behrami was stretched off after a long delay in proceedings. City held on until the break and even though West Ham dominated most of the first half, City will be wondering how their not in front after Robinho missed a chance that even I could have scored.
Halftime: West Ham 0 Manchester City 0
Man City then had their second best chance of the game. Great work from Bellamy again led the Welshman to cross the ball towards Bridge who was just in front of Green, but he got under the ball and nodded the ball over the bar.
West Ham then got their dominance back in the game. Dunne did well to stop any effort by Collison at the near post in the first 5 minutes of the half, and from the break, Robinho failed to get a shot in after getting to the byeline.
I didn`t get to see whether Bellamy coming off for Elano was tactical or due to an injury but it really didn`t do much for my respect for Hughes. Bellamy was the best player on the pitch, at least take off Robinho, a player who cant seem to score.
The substitution had a negative effect, as Given was forces to make a very good save to deny Savio on 70 minutes, but he could do nothing as Collison followed up and fired the ball home. 1-0 West Ham.
City then took some kind of foothold in the game. Caicedo wriggled free but could only find the side-netting. Within a minute, Robinho dragged his half assed effort from outside the area a yard wide. Then Elano and Robinho managed to get in each others way when collecting the ball from Ireland.
Something positive would come from this game at least. The introduction of Bojinov brought the away fan`s best cheer of the day.
City last chance was from a free-kick won by Robinho. Elano stepped up to the ball and fired the ball towards goal. Lucas Neil managed to stop what looked to be sure goal with his nugget.
No more chances for both sides, and yet again another disappointing defeat away from home. I`m getting sick of this now. A ray of hope never lasts long before we start playing below par football again. Its simply not good enough now!
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Date:Sunday March 1 2009
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