Manchester City - Blues Pull Clear
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West Ham United 0 - Manchester City 1

Upton Park

30/12/06 3pm

Attendance: 34574

Blues Pull Clear

A first win at West Ham for 15 years was enough to see City move eight points clear of the drop zone on an abysmal day in East London.

Despite the conditions, City ended 2006 with their first back to back wins for well over a year. 2006 has been a testing time for all involved at the club (player's management and supporters) so let's hope this is a turning point in the fortunes of Manchester City.

The game itself had little going for it. Both teams showed why they had struggled so far this season and were both a pale shadow of the sides that contested last season's FA Cup quarter final.

Perhaps the absence of midfield inspiration, Barton for City and Reo-Coker for the Hammers were suspended, contributed but there was little on show to suggest that this was a Premiership encounter.

Having said that both Dunne and Distin were majestic in defence and the goal, when it came, was a moment of sheer genius from, until now, the little seen US winger, Demarcus Beasley.

Like Sheffield United before it, all that mattered in this game was the three points. Going into Christmas City were sitting precariously just two points above the drop zone. Successive wins have now seen them go eight clear and in a top ten slot. We're not going to get carried away at this stage but a glass will be raised tonight to the battling performances shown at Sheffield and West Ham. After Bolton it was the least we deserved.

Happy New Year

Star Player

Dunne .... Superb in this mood. The skipper let no-one pass.

Manager Rating

Pearce has probably earned himself a stay of execution after this result. Great battling qualities shown from his team, in a style he would have been proud to call his own, and a substitution that worked. Well done Psycho.

Opponent Rating

You look at the Hammers and think why are they down there? I haven't an answer but they will continue to struggle if they perform like that. There seems little confidence and over reliance on a 40 year old to lead your attack would worry me.

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The journalist

Writer: Andy Leggott Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 31 2006

Time: 3:23PM


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